Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday said electioneering for this year’s governorship election fixed for September 19 will not affect governance as he will continue to render services to the people.
The governor stated this when he handed over cheques of various sums to over 49 beneficiaries as compensation to facilitate the N16 billion Ogiso-Osunde gully erosion control along 3rd East Circular Road in Benin.
The project is being executed through the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).
Obaseki, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele, said his administration would continue to partner any group, organisation and individuals that would boost the development of the state.
“This is a very busy year for us as a government but we are not leaving governance and our government will continue to be citizen centric in the sense that whatever step we take, it is going to be citizen-based and that is why we have invited all of you hear today.
“There is transparency in the process, there are accountability mechanisms that have been put in place and there is no opaqueness in the execution of the project and I want to assure you that those who are at the helm of affairs in NEWMAP are people who are well tested and dedicated with years of experience on project execution with vast training both locally and internationally, so you can always rely on them.
He said the contractors are known to the government and have executed a lot of projects and emerged through a transparent process.
“We expect a high quality project execution from them. We will not hesitate as a state government to terminate the contract if we observe any shoddiness in the execution of the project,” the governor said.
He also announced that a Community Oversight Committee would be set up to assist as third party assessors that would draw the attention of the authorities if there are areas of deficiencies in the execution of the job.
Earlier, NEWMAP Project Coordinator, Tom Obaseki, said the gully erosion control would span over two kilometres.
He said the gully has left a lot of people in the area homeless and negatively affected the livelihood of the community, adding that the project would help give a permanent solution to the gully erosion challenge in the area.
Meanwhile, the state government has called on relevant security agencies to place the former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Osagie Ize-Iyamu and other members of the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) under close surveillance to put an end to the sudden rise in the use of explosives to create a sense of insecurity in the state.
In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said the security alert had to be sent because of the desperation of Ize-Iyamu and members of the EPM to throw the state into chaos to achieve their Machiavellian aims.
“With Ize-Iyamu and his colleagues in EPM unhappy with the recent peace and reconciliation committee, led by Bisi Akande, we gathered that they plan to orchestrate more mayhem to scuttle the All Progressives Congress (APC) peace process in Edo and possibly force President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Edo,” he said.