Edo PDP, govt bicker over corruption claims
THE Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to begin his anti-corruption campaign from the state, where it alleged that Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s administration has frittered away council funds amounting to at least N200 billion.
Addressing the media yesterday in Benin City, the PDP state chairman, Dan Orbih, said the call to probe Oshiomhole’s government has become imperative because the governor remained the most travelled of all governors in the country, “yet he has not attracted any investment to the state.”
He alleged that the governor’s mismanagement of the state’s resources was responsible for the current agitation by members of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and the over six months old strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN). Orbih accused the governor of frittering away over N200 billion being allocation to the 18 local councils, stating: “Till date, he has received over N200 billion as allocation to different local governments in Edo State.
“Of this amount, he needs N6.5 billion annually for workers’ salaries. So, for about seven years of his government, you can say that over N200 billion (has accrued), he needed about N45.5 billion to service workers in the past seven years.”
He urged indigenes to embrace the opposition PDP and use their votes to bring back the PDP to power in the state at next year’s gubernatorial election.
Reacting, however, the Special Adviser to Oshiomhole on Media, Kassim Afegbua, described the allegation as infantile, adding that Orbih lacked the nuances of governance.
According to him, “there is nothing like squandering local government funds, we don’t even touch their funds. “When the new local government administration was sworn in, the governor released to them the local government money that was saved for them. Some local governments got N500 million, some N400 million as allocation from the Federation Account.
“How do you reconcile that N200 billion has been appropriated to the state and the governor had misappropriated it? It flies in the face of reason and common sense.
“He should have taken a little pain to do due diligence and see for himself whether the sum of N200 billion did even accrue to the 18 local governments in the state before running from pillar to post to make this kind of wild allegation.”