Tony Osauzo, Benin
A group, Edo Transparency Initiative (ETI), yesterday, dared Governor Godwin Obaseki to carry out his threat to probe the multi-billion naira Benin storm water project, commenced by the administration of former governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The group, in statement by its coordinator, Felix Osahon, urged the governor to institute the probe and make its findings public so that Edo people would know the truth of the matter.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning and former commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities in the state, Clem Agba, had during his courtesy call on the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, last Thursday, said the abandonment of the project was partly responsible for recent flooding in some parts of the state capital and appealed to the royal father to request the state government to continue with the project conceived to combat the menace of flooding in Benin.
But recently, the state government had threatened to probe former governor Oshiomhole and Prince Agba in connection with the project.
Consequently, ETI, in a sstatement, said Edo people would take the opportunity of the probe to know who is deceiving them as far as the water project is concerned.
“We know the project was jointly handled by two ministries: Environment and Public Utilities and Works; and not less than five commissioners were appointed into these ministries throughout the eight years of Oshiomhole as governor.
“Those who served as commissioners in the two ministries, apart from Agba, included the present Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie and the suspended Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Anselm Ojezua.
“Within that period, we know how flooding in the city was tackled and how it subsided under Oshiomhole’s leadership. Governor Obaseki was part of the project as chairman of the Economic Team and was instrumental to sourcing of the first N25 billion from the bond market through his company, Afrinvest, and the company reportedly got N650 million commission from the deal,” the ETI said.