Alexander Okere, Benin
The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday warned voters in the state to be wary of politicians, whom he described as self-confessed treasury looters seeking control of the state in the September 10 governorship election.
Oshiomhole, who said this during a courtesy visit of his Lagos State counterpart, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, noted that the All Progressives Congress inherited a federal treasury that was “completely bastardised” by persons whom he said had made statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the alleged diversion of funds meant to protect the lives of Nigerians against terrorists.
He said, “I know there are a lot of people who don’t quite understand what is going on. Our party inherited a federal treasury that was completely bastardised, emptied, emptied from the vaults to soak away pits, to farm houses, and even in Edo here, the people who are asking for Edo people’s votes are those who have already made statements to the EFCC that they collected N500m, N700m.
“That is already N1.2bn and their leader confessed in his own right that he collected N300m from the money meant to secure Nigerians against terrorist group called Boko Haram. It is people who diverted such money, who collected it, and they have owned up to it in black and white in their handwriting, that are asking Edo people to surrender the state.”
While commending the Lagos governor, Oshiomhole noted that the APC had a clear message that “the wealth of the state belongs to the masses.”
He said, “So for us, our campaign message is cut out for us. The choice is between a bunch of people whose philosophy is ‘share the state money’ and those who believe that the state money belongs to the people, and the task is for the governor to manage it in a way that will deliver prosperity to the people.
“Under your (Ambode) leadership, I have no doubt we couldn’t have had a better campaign organisation. So, I thank you for that. We have a credible messenger that you are going to help us to market and we also have a compelling message to put across to Edo State. We believe the election will be won on the basis of the pedigree of the political parties, the pedigree of the individual and what the two parties have to show to the people.”
Responding, Ambode assured the party of victory at the polls, noting that “APC is the only party” that could take Nigeria away from the doldrums.
He also promised to establish bilateral relations between Lagos and Edo states in order to advance economic and political development in the South-South state.
He said, “What I can promise your Excellency is that we have decided that we will bring the whole machinery of the Lagos model to Edo State. In addition to that, we believe strongly that Edo State has the potential of becoming a giant in Africa also and this relationship is beyond the fact that it is historic. We also want to use this platform of this campaign to start a major paradigm shift in terms of economic and political relationship between Edo State and Lagos State.”
Ambode added, “I like to also say that what we have ahead of us as a party, that is, the APC, is beyond ordinary election. We need to take Nigeria out of the doldrums, and the only party that can do that is the APC, of which we are happy to be aligned with your state and other progressive states in the country. That is why we are here, as brothers. We offer ourselves and we will continue to also send the same message across all the progressive states.
“On a personal note, I am very proud of all the things you have done for Edo State and even this country Nigeria, and I can say the few achievements I have actually attained in Lagos State were driven and inspired by the kind of energy you bring into governance, and I am very proud to be associated with you and the government of Edo State.”
SOURCE: Punch Newspaper