Tony Osauzo, Benin
An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant for the September 19 gubernatorial election in Edo State, Engr Chris Ogiewonyi, has called on the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to institute a probe into the series of recent violent attacks on people’s homes in the state.
He said that the trend if allowed to continue will scare investors away from the state.
Speaking to reporters at the weekend in Benin City, Ogiewonyi, who condemned the attacks, revealed that he had been an advocate of the establishment of state police forces, but that since Wabaizighan, the state security outfit, attacked 14 lawmakers-elect in a hotel in Benin, he has changed his mind.
“This is the first time we are using bombs in politics in Edo State. This is another aspect of terrorism, the attacks will scare away investors”, he said.
Ogiewonyi called for the abolition of Wabaizighan, which he described as repressive and anti-people, whose operatives, he said, were being paid with taxpayers money.
The former Minister of State for Works said if elected governor his first priority would be to address insecurity in the state by allocating more resources to that sector.
He listed other priority areas to include poverty eradication through the provision of employment, preventive healthcare, mechanised agriculture, provision of social amenities to address rural-urban migration, provision of model schools with boarding facilities, upgrading of the solid minerals sector and bringing the physically challenged into government operations.
He disclosed that they were six aspirants on the platform of the APC who have agreed to work together and to accept and support whoever emerges as the candidate, adding that it was the performance of Oshiomhole as governor that made him join the APC.
“It is the performance of Oshiomhole that dragged me into the APC. I took the risk to leave the PDP for the APC in 2014. I took the risk because of Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole really transformed Edo State, I score him eight and a half over 10 points in his performance.
“I see Oshiomhole as the best governor after Ogbemudia,” Ogiewonyi said, adding that “Governor Obaseki has the capacity to perform but he is taking on so many things, I score him low.”
He also commented on the recent government demolition of a hotel in Benin owned by Tony Kabaka Adun, describing the incident as “an abomination in Benin.”
According to Ogiewonyi, “Kabaka and others helped to make Obaseki governor, but because they now have a different view his hotel was brought down.”
He commented on the pending Petroleum Industry Bill and advised that if the Federal Government wants the matter to be addressed, it should give it to experts in the oil industry to handle, calling on governments at all levels to always appoint their ‘first eleven’ into positions.