Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
An All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, John Mayaki, has urged Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki not to divest the 50 percent of state equity from the Edo Azura Power Project to invest the proceeds in an industrial park project.
Mayaki, who was Governor Obaseki’s Chief Press Secretary, argued during a press briefing in Abuja that the move was illegal since the Edi State House of Assembly which approve such a move was yet to be properly constituted.
Mayaki’s extensive remarks reads:
“First is process – Understanding that the money in question is the state’s implies understanding the bureaucratic protocol of accessing and determining the best value and usage of public funds. This, therefore, requires the painstaking involvement of state lawmakers who must preside, commune and brainstorm on this idea as presented by the executive arm.
“This way, they supervise and determine if indeed, it is a worthy ambition. But in Edo state, as popularly known, there is no legally constituted legislature to sit on the case, as the legislative arm has been undermined by no one else but the Governor.
“This opens up and presents the second problem: execution. If the process of supervising and assessing the executive ambition is intrinsically fraught with crisis, what assures upright devotion to the pursuit of the laid claims made by the Governor?
“And this worry is given more validation by the historical record of the present administration. Known for its characteristic attitude of making but not fulfilling promises, sometimes even denying them, how can the public cast their truth on this ambition, believing that Obaseki’s administration has the interest of the people at heart?
“It should then be recalled at this juncture that the administration aims to divest N2.1 billion into a $200 billion project. By mere proportion, the incoming fund is like a drop of water in an ocean. But the most expedient question it invites is that of the original plans of the Industrial project.
“If the Industrial Park project needs such fund that is paltry when compared to its budget, then where and what really originally funds the project?
“But worse fear exists: where is the money really going and for what purpose? The Governor may have in his speech repeatedly rehearse his administration’s keenness to invest the money into the industrial sector of the state in an aim to shock and reinvigorate the sector for the employment and productive benefit of Edo state and her citizens.
“Yet there are validated reasons for fear and some quarters have suspected that the fund will be hijacked by Obaseki’s company, AFRINVEST.
“Two things again stand out. First is that Governor Obaseki has created a frightful reputation, one that lacks the currency of trust, hence undermining himself whenever he proposes a-money-involved idea. This can be said, was brought upon himself by no other person than himself.
“In the months he spent creating an image of himself, subtly announcing through his actions, that no heartless disposition is beyond him, he sows a seed; now fully germinated and blossoming, he must reap its fruits.
“Finally, the second consequence is Obaseki’s arrival to the evening of power. He has stirred waters, and dragged to his net, the little fishes of minor profits; but now he must answer to bigger and more daring creatures of the sea.
“For Obaseki who claimed the previous administration achieved nothing, from where then comes the N2.1 billion he intends to divest? And what, most importantly, will be his own legacy? Failure? Debts? Or does he wish to be like those men who Barrack Obama explains to take and take and take, without the ambition to give and build, creating a legacy?
“Obaseki throwing the legislature into crisis has therefore eliminated the chances of having his ambition legally asserted, and for this, he is made a man who has shot himself in the foot, and now, he must remain rooted to a spot, not progressing, not making or finding peace, his past sins haunting him until the time comes for him to go home—and then he will be voted home to rest.”