Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State Media Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress for the September 19 governorship election in the state has queried the readiness of the Obaseki administration to heed the warnings of the National Emergency Management Agency (NAMA) and put in place proactive measures to avert disaster and destruction of properties in flood-risk areas of the state.
This was in reaction to the prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) which marked Edo State as one of the highly probable flood-risk states in the country.
The Chairman of the State Media Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, in a press statement in Benin City, accused the state government of emptying the state treasury on sponsorship of nefarious political activities, fake protests, and campaign of calumny in the media while neglecting important governance issues such as the management of flood and the protection of lives and properties.
‘The warnings of NEMA, based on the predictions of NIMET and NIHSA, that Edo State is among the highly probable flood-risk states in the coming months, should send alarm bells ringing in Osadebey Avenue as a matter of high priority for the state government. Unfortunately, in Edo State today, the governor at the helm is irresponsible and is only concerned with nefarious political activities and name-calling.
‘Etsako East, Esan South East, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Etsako Central, Esan North East, and Ovia North East Local Government Areas were all identified as flood-risk areas of the state in the predictions of NIMET and NIHSA.
‘Already, in these areas and beyond, the sprinkles of rain we have seen in the past few weeks have caused great devastation, in some cases leading to the avoidable loss of lives,’ the statement said.
It noted that while governor Godwin Obaseki has not deemed it fit to address these concerns with the seriousness it deserves, or even offer compensation to the families who have lost loved ones, properties, and means of livelihood to a disaster worsened by his complete negligence, he has been paying lip service to the residents of these regions of the state, seeking to deceitfully obtain their support and votes through lies and insincere promises.
‘Yet, we keep getting credible information on the billions of state funds he is handing out to tax collectors and other election cycle politicians who are feasting on his desperation.
‘The Water Storm Project carefully designed to proffer lasting solution to the issue of flooding in the state has been politicized by the Governor in his mischievous quest to spite his predecessor and benefactor. Obaseki has turned into a subject of mindless politics, a project that he jointly commissioned and even sourced for its funding through his personal company.
‘He claims the Water Storm Project belonged to the previous administration, even though nearly all the members of the cabinet of that administration who proposed and worked on the project all hold senior positions in his own administration. Apart from the Governor who was the Chairman of the Economic team under Oshiomhole, his Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie, was the Commissioner for Works and he supervised the project directly.
‘Edo people should not be made victims of Obaseki’s desperation and mindless politics. We are going to mount pressure to ensure that NEMA’s call for proactive measures is heeded,’ the statement added.