Oshiomhole tackles PDP over anti-$75m loan comment
The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has explained that the state government opted for the $75m World Bank facility as an inevitable option, having been allegedly denied its statutory allocations by the Peoples Democratic Party which he accused of bleeding the nation’s “treasury dry.”
Oshiomhole, who spoke to journalists on Sunday on the recent approval of the loan by the Senate, alleged that the state lost about $11.6bn from the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, out of which over N30bn was meant for Edo State as its share.
He also said that despite several calls by the PDP, including the state chapter, to prevent the state government from accessing the loan, his administration would not be “distracted by nonentities.”
But the state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, described the governor’s claim as “nothing but unrealistic expression of sentiment by a drowning politician.”
Oshiomhole said, “The PDP is a nuisance in this case. First is that if they didn’t steal the money, we didn’t even need to borrow. What we lost from the NLNG alone, under the PDP Federal Government, is about $11.6bn. Edo State share of that is more than N30bn. If you realise that from every $1bn, we get more than N2.7bn.
“So, for $11.6bn, multiply that by N2.4bn, you will see that we would have even made over N35bn. So, if the PDP did not steal and bleed the treasury dry, our legitimate revenue stolen by Dan Orbih’s party and their cohorts is much more than that. My hope is that they should be brought to justice.
“Even his (Orbih) own crime in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, where he was just a director for two years. Two years, from a man selling 50 bags of cement and turning into a multi- billionaire with houses all over the country! I think he doesn’t quite understand that people know him more than he thought, but I don’t want to be distracted by nonentities.
“The truth is we thank God that God has sent President (Muhammadu) Buhari to stop the liquidation of the country and he is set to rebuild it. So, my first remark to the PDP is that they are still not in a position to blame the victim of their own looting, which is unprecedented in the history of this country. As you can see, you heard President Buhari saying last week that, after they finished looting Nigeria’s revenue, they even borrowed to loot.
The governor explained further, “You heard the President saying that they took a billion dollar loan from China and they had already taken six hundred away. By now if they were still there, they would have finished the remaining one. Every day you read the newspaper, you find it. So, my only problem is that the media is not interrogating them.
Oshiomhole dismissed allegations that the state ranked high among states with huge debt profiles, arguing that it was the “least borrowed,” in the South-South, with N25bn as the only major loan taken since he assumed office.
He also restated that the state government had not fallen short of its financial obligation to its workers.
He said, “Now, what are the facts? In the South-South zone, look at the debt profile. You can Google DMO (Debt Management Office) and find out who owes what. Edo State is the least borrowed. The only major loan we have taken since I assumed office was N25bn bond. Out of that, we have paid more than N20bn, because we are paying N530m every month. As we speak, we have about N5bn left of that loan, which should be liquidated before the end of my tenure.
“So now, you heard of bailouts. Find out what the PDP states are borrowing under the bailout plan, not for development but to pay salaries. But Edo State Government is up to date in salaries without any bailout. So, I mean the media should interrogate facts and not report nincompoops.
“The PDP should simply shut up because they destroyed everything. So, carry out your own independent investigation. Number two, you heard in the papers how much our neighbouring states in the South-South are borrowing – the new PDP governors that have come in. You hear of N20bn, you hear of N30bn in two months. To do what? To settle invisibles, and then you are asking about N14.5bn.
“We are not borrowing to pay salaries, because that we have been able to do. It is part of massive looting by the PDP. So, I appeal to the media; you are all victims of the PDP looting. You must interrogate these thieves. They block the highways and want to divert you away. And when you ask them; they will say you are on witch-hunt. Why won’t you hunt the witches if the witches are killing people? Don’t you hunt a witch in your village? If they confess they have killed a baby, you deal with the witch?
On the 2016 governorship election, he said, “I hear they will come back in 2016 and so on. I am over-sleeping because with a bunch of robbers, (it is) not in our life time. These are people who can only walk; I mean rig election, with a merger of the PDP and the NNPC.
“Now that that merger is broken and the leaders of the merging organisations have been thrown out to make sure that the merger never occurs again. Even if they (the PDP) contest election in their godfather’s home, I defeated them before and I am going to defeat them again. And they can never forgive people like us because whoever destroys the camp of armed robbers, the robbers cannot be happy with him. The only day I will miss my sleep is to hear that Dan Orbih and people like him, who couldn’t pass history, are clapping for me.
But Orbih, in a statement said, “The noise Oshiomhole is making in Abuja is laughable because the APC government that was brought about by the last election, Adams Oshiomhole contributed nothing to it. He lost woefully at the Presidential election in Edo State. This scorecard is a pointer to what is to come in 2016.
To me, this posture of fighting corruption; of lending his voice to the present campaign of anti-corruption is diversionary. And if there is any person that is said to be a corrupt politician, Oshiomhole is number one in the state. I challenge him to tell Edo people what he is doing with N500m to N700m every month in the name of security challenges.
“So, let Adams, before he starts talking about anti-corruption, before he starts pointing fingers at others, first of all purge himself of financial sins to Edo people.”