The Edo State Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the recently held Economic Summit by Mr. Godwin Obaseki to commemorate his one year anniversary in office as the governor of Edo State Speaking with newsmen at the party’s state secretariat in Benin City, the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih described the Economic Summit as a waste of the state’s resources on an event purely held to fete the political associates of the governor who bankrolled his election.

Chief Orbih stated that the jamboree, coming in the midst of daily protests by the state’s pensioners over the non-payment of their pension benefits by the APC government, demonstrated Mr Obaseki’s insensitivity to the welfare of Edo people. He said that events surrounding the organization of the programme highlight Obaseki’s continuity of the Adams Oshiomhole legacy of profligacy in which outsiders are given jobs that could have benefitted Edo tax payers. He pointed at the printing of the materials for the summit, running into millions of naira, which the governor gave as contract to his cronies in Lagos.

Reacting to the governor’s allegation that the protesting pensioners were being sponsored, Chief Dan Orbih said that Governor Obaseki, rather than resorting to cheap and baseless blackmail, should own up to the fact that whatever challenges he may be facing were caused by the APC government that has been in power in Edo State in the past nine years. He stated that under the APC government the State Pensions Board became a den of thieves where political appointees and some civil servants colluded, with the knowledge of the powers that be to shortchange pensioners and defraud the state. Chief Orbih stated that this massive fraud that also existed in other APC, ministries, departments and agencies, is the reason why some high ranking APC party officials are facing trial in court. He opined that paying the pensioners would not be difficult if the governor wanted to pay them.

Chief Dan Orbih queried the cover up in the ministry of education where governor Obaseki initially exposed the annual fraudulent expense of over N230m to conduct primary six exams when in fact government only needed to spend N30m. Chief Orbih alleged that Governor Obaseki doesn’t have the courage to expose the big masquerade, who was been behind the fraud for the last eight years.

The PDP state chairman alleged that in spite of having no achievement to show for his one year in office, Obaseki has sunk the state deeper in unnecessary debt started by his predecessor Adams Oshiomhole. Orbih said that Obaseki has taken the indebtedness of the state from $179.52m he inherited from Oshiomhole to $213.95m, maintaining the second highest foreign indebted state in Nigeria, according to statistics released by the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Orbih lambasted Governor Obaseki for the unprecedented rate of crime and insecurity in Edo State in spite of the billions of naira claimed as security votes. He stated that under the present state of insecurity, the desire for serious foreign investors will end in futility. On the quest for foreign investors which has seen Obaseki breaking all records for globetrotting at humongous cost to the state, Orbih predicted that nothing will come out of it as it happened in the time of Oshiomhole. Governor Obaseki was challenged to submit his passport for inspection. Chief Orbih listed over 30 destinations that governor Obaseki has visited with tax payers money. In most cases, he went with his friends and cronies at our expense.

Our roads have gone from bad bad to worse. The state capital is totally cut off from the rest of the state. The governor himself attested to it while lamenting the poor state of Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi road. Weep not Obaseki, chief Orbih advised, as he informed that Delta state intervened in 8 federal roads, including Agbor-Abraka-Eku road, Warri-Sapele road and others, stating that Delta government interventions in fixing roads is based on the importance of the roads to the people of the state. He challenged Governor Obaseki to do same. If not 8, do 1! He concluded.

The PDP said that it was time Obaseki settled down to the business of governance rather than his present indulgence in making promises as if they were still campaigning. Chief Orbih informed Governor Obaseki that his nickname in the streets is ” I will Partner with you…”. Governor Obaseki is reputed to have promised to partner with over 86 groups, unions, associations and bodies irrespective of their aims and objectives!

The party scored the government of Obaseki as having failed in all aspects of governance except in the area of increased and multiple taxation which has escalated the suffering of the good people of Edo State.

Chief Orbih announced the donation of 200 traffic Shelters to Edo State Traffic Management agency. The young men and women who are helping to control traffic shouldn’t be left to the elements and vagaries of the weather, he said.

Chief Orbih described Obaseki’s one year in office as one of hunger, hardship and government’s insensitivity.

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