From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has declared that the figures released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) on the state’s debt profile has vindicated his position that the state is one of the highest indebted states in the country.
A report by the DMO as reported by some national dailies indicated that Edo State was the third most indebted state in the country in terms of sub-national foreign debts with a total of $179.52million.
Speaking on the Edo debt profile, the PDP candidate, through the media unit of his campaign organisation, said the report has finally put paid lies by the Governor Adams Oshiomhole-led government that Edo was not owing foreign debt, regretting that the administration has put the state to great debt.
”The Debt Management Office, Abuja, has just stated that Edo State with a total of $179.52 million as at June 30 this year, holds 4.91 per cent of the nation’s sub-national foreign debts.
“We know this is outside the over N800 billion debt that Oshiomhole has created for Edo State”, Ize-Iyamu said.
He advised Oshiomhole and the APC candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki, who doubles as the Head of Edo State Economic Team, to hold their heads in shame for squandering the state’s huge funds, which has now resulted in the state’s inability to pay local government workers’ salaries for 15 to 18 months among others.
He said that Edo people would not be deceived again by the dishonesty of the APC-led government, adding that data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Edo State currently has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the country.
Obaseki raises the alarm over plot to attack his convoy
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday raised the alarm over alleged plot by the opposition to attack his campaign convoy.
Speaking to journalists in Benin yesterday, Obaseki explained that intelligence report at his disposal has revealed the area where the planned attack would be carried out, but however declined to disclose it.
Exuding confidence, the APC flag bearer said “from opinion polls and all the feelers we are getting across the state, we will win the election by 75 percent”.
He assessed his chances in the gubernatorial poll thus: “particularly in Edo South, things have improved quite significantly from the last poll that we received. Edo Central has been very interesting. The amount of defection from the PDP has essentially crumbled the opposition party in the central. And even stronghold, their strongholds, we are beginning to see them very jittery and in Edo North, apart from few units in Akoko-Edo and one unit in Owan East, it is essentially unlocked down for us. So, from what we can see today, barring any unforeseen circumstances, barring violence that will scare people from the poll and barring any attempt by the opposition party to cause disruptions in some highly populated voting units so that the results from those units will be inconclusive, we believe that we are very comfortable”.
Obaseki who spoke while fielding questions from journalists, said contrary to the PDP’s expectation that the fifth columnist within APC will work against it, the APC was very cohesive, adding, “it has been part of the strategy of the opposition to cause dissention within APC- it is all propaganda”.
Women urge Buhari to ensure free, fair election
Edo women, yesterday pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari for a free, fair and credible election, even as they appealed to him to see the poll as a litmus test for the sincerity of his administration.
The women, under the aegis of the Forum of Uncommon Women of Edo, FUWE, after a meeting in Benin City to review unfolding political developments in the state, said that as a stand-alone election, the whole world was watching to see how it goes.
Director-general of FUWE, Princess Mrs Philomena Ihenyen who spoke to journalists after the meeting said, “let it be said for the deaf to hear that Edo people are ready to defend their mandate and will not allow subversion or corruption of our collective will”. The women also condemned what they called the unprovoked verbal and physical attacks directed to women as they campaigned across the state and called on the Nigerian police to be firm in its bid to stem political violence as the election draws near.
She said most disturbing was this week’s attack in Edo North of the campaign train of Dr Idia Ize-Iyamu, the wife of the PDP candidate, adding , “although the wife of the candidate was unhurt, several women in her entourage sustained various injuries with one or two cars damaged. We condemn these attacks and consider it an affront on the entire womenfolk”.
She added: “We are all equal stakeholders in the Edo Project in spite of your political and ethnic root or leaning. We have a right under the law to be served and protected by the security agencies especially the Police. A situation where opposition PDP members are hounded, arrested and subsequently detained by security agents is unwholesome, callous and injurious to our body politic.”