Tony Osauzo, Benin
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Mr Sufianu Igbafen, has tackled former deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Pally Iriase, over his comment that there was nothing to show for the three and half years of state Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Iriase had on Tuesday, while engaging the media on Obaseki’s achievements in the state for the past three years, declared there were no projects to show for the N251 billion revenue that accrued to the state between November 2016 and December 2019.
Iriase’s comment followed Governor Obaseki’s statement that his three years achievements dwarfed the eight years administration of former governor Adams Oshiomhole.
He had explained that the N251 billion comprised funds from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and allocations from the federation account without receipts from bailout funds, Paris Club Refund, loans and counterpart funding from SEEFOR, Conditional Grants Scheme, among other sources.
But addressing reporters in Benin City, Igbafen said Iriase was not competent to make such comment as he was not a member of the APC since he had been suspended from the party for alleged anti-party activities.
He further alleged that Iriase who represented Owan federal constituency in the House of Representatives while in the APC and sponsored a PDP candidate during 2019 election which led to the APC losing ward 9 of Owan East.
“He clearly participated in the campaign against APC in 2018 and 2019 and when he was invited by a panel set up by the party, he refused to appear which led to his expulsion.
“So he is not a member of APC to comment on the achievement of Obaseki,” Igbafen said.
Igbafen, a one-time secretary and chairman of Owan East Local Government Area of the state, asked Iriase to explain why the General Hospital, Otuo, till date, is not functioning, alleging that even as Secretary to State Government (SSG) between 2008 – 2011 until his election into the House of Representatives Iriase underdeveloped the Owan federal constituency.
“He could not make good use of his office to develop Owan when he was SSG; his office was responsible for the SDGs and MDGs but due to his lacklustre performance, these agencies were removed from his office to another office.
“If he was a good representative for eight years, how come he could not give any Owan man a job. Even Prof. Julius Ihonvbere who just replaced him in the last eight months is doing very well as he has provided jobs for the teeming Owan youths,” Igbafen said.
But in his reaction, Iriase said: “Am very sorry that governance has been reduced to such a low level that an unknown fellow, who is not an official spokesman, will be procured and mobilised by Edo State government to go on a personal attack on the weighty issues raised by me. I won’t indulge in a gutter fight.
“I gave figures of monthly receipts from November 2016 to November 2019, making three years assessment. I gave credible sources of those figures. It is already in the public domain.
“In reply from official sources, we are told that 2,000km of roads have been constructed. People are asking where and which roads are they talking about?
“They point at the renovation of the secretariat building. People are asking for how much? The issues are beyond pedestrian name-calling and personal attacks please.”