May 29, 2024

Obaseki’s $26bn Dollar Economy of Lies Manufacturing

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Gov Obaseki

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By Kassim Afegbua

Watching Governor Obaseki’s lips as he addressed Edo journalists, saying he created $26b dollars economy, thereby raising the Edo State economy from the $10b dollars value he inherited, left me speechless and totally taken aback as to how debased and inattentive he thinks we all are, such that he has the nerves to tell us such lies to our faces; it must be one of his hare-brained lies manufacturing machine, engineered to midwife his desired successor into office.

It reminded me about the e-learning lies he told all around Edo State as regards the education sector, which has been suffering asphyxiation since he became governor.

The man has acquired a PhD degree in lies manufacturing. What is painful is the temerity he has to spew up the lies at home. As the reality of his exit draws nearer, the higher his rate of fib releases: the Dangote Cement company he talks about commenced under ex-Governor Oshiomhole in 2016.

It is public knowledge that Senator Oshiomhole brought Dangote and BUA Cement Companies to Edo state.

The 450MW Azura power plant was built and completed under Senator Adams Oshiomhole when he was governor; former President Jonathan came to commission it back then.

The tiles manufacturing, the steel one at the bye-pass and the glass manufacturing companies, were all started under Adams Oshiomhole’s administration; indeed they were fully operational before Adams Oshiomhole exited as Governor.

Claiming that these companies came to life because of improved power supply is a rotten lie from Obaseki’s Lies Manufacturing Company Unlimited-OLIMACU.

The Tiles Manufacturing, the steel one, and the Glass factory, all had their private power supplies using the huge Gas deposit from Ologbo, to generate their independent power, and BUA Cement also.

When we visited those companies for inspection, during Adams Oshiomhole’s administration, we saw how gas was used to power their equipment and workers residences within the factory premises.

Why should Governor Obaseki try to take credit for what he didn’t do? Must he continue to dig into the grave of lies, not minding the insult it is to our collective intelligence?

How can Governor Obaseki even contemplate making up stories about raising the strength of the Edo economy when most of his promises remain unfulfilled?

Does he think that the people who witnessed Senator Oshiomole’s administration have all passed on?

The Gelegele Port remains a pipe-dream, the road dualisation project from Gelegele to Okpella industrial hub has not taken off.

The promised Airport in Edo North was just a way to redirect Edo money to only Obaseki know where as it was always planned to stop at consultation stage.

Rather than encourage BUA Cement to run properly at the initial stage of their production in Edo, he made attempts to close down the plant on the flimsy excuse that the company failed environmental impact assessment tests; thankfully his frantic efforts in that direction failed.

He gave sleepless nights to the management of BUA and even declared their GMD Yussuf Binji wanted.

I had to mobilise our youths in Okpella to ensure that BUA plant remained in production.

Thereafter, he sold the 10% shares of Edo State in BUA to shrouded buyers; a transaction which still remains a secret transaction till date.

Only Obaseki knows who bought them.

I would concede that Governor Obaseki grew the Edo State economy in his dreams by way of LIES, from $10b dollars to $26b or maybe much more dollars in his eight years.

He even, sold lies to the World Bank to attract their loans for projects which him- Obaseki alone knows.

He projects EdoBest educational intervention in a manner that suggests that Edo state has become the eldorado in education, but the infrastructural decay and manpower decimation in that sector remains mind-boggling.

Statistics do not lie. What can he show to defend his claim? Education in Edo state remains what Adams Oshiomhole did.

What we see now in that sector is appalling. Ambrose Ali University has been struggling over the last eight years; ditto for Edo state University of Education (technical) which was under lock and key for some time.

The Benin Technical College which he renovated is struggling to remain afloat. Teaching staff shortage permeates the entire local governments, as most schools in Edo state are short staffed.

Insufficient teaching staff has eclipsed the dreams of Edo people for their children. Is it the primary health care centers which he promised in all local governments?

Till date they are still being awaited; no where to be found. The Stadia he promised to build in all local government headquarters exist inside Governor Obaseki’s bedroom or maybe his mind. Each working day is glazed with lies after lies.

He has a commissioner for roads and bridges, yet not one bridge have we seen. The Ossiomo Power Plant has remained a private investment of Governor Obaseki’s and not that of the state. Ossiomo Power Plant was started during the tenure of Adams Oshiomhole as a private investment.

It beats my cognition that the governor applauds his government for this same power plant.

In Governor Obaseki’s $26b dollars Edo economy, deceit sits at the management level, subterfuge is the secretary of the board, while secrecy is the term of reference.

From that same economy, Governor Obaseki has succeeded in building the edifice of lies to an infamous pedestal, decorated the walls with Memorandums of Understanding and garnished the economic landscape with mouth-watering promises.

The opaque nature of government transactions is the reason why N356b naira debt is hanging on Edo people’s neck.

Another N24b is being hurriedly packaged as loan for the government to an Assembly whose members are behaving like famished baboons, that have been let loose into a banana plantation.

When Obaseki sends a bill in the morning to the Assembly, it gets passed immediately; alluding to a quid pro quo agreement in their relationship. It is all greed, acquisition and prebendalism.

While all of this is going on, Edo State is dying!! There are no roads in this so-called $26b dollars economy. Erosion is washing off the surface with every rainfall; flooding is threatening the populace, and with every unfurling cloud, they panic.

A snapshot of Obaseki’s multi-billion dollars state economy shows, Ambrose Alli University is crawling in the hands of the Special Intervention Team in place of a proper University Governing Council; a grave anomaly.

There are some Lecturers who have not been paid for 24 months in AAU, the Sobe Maize Farm that was glamourised in 2020 during the campaigns for his second term has been chequered by deliberate wickedness and outright deceitfulness; where is Sobe Farms today?

It has travelled into oblivion, Ekheuan Road is still an ongoing work four years after it commenced.

Today, after every rainfall, the entire Ekheuan Road becomes a river flowing in every direction, leaving sighs and hisses on the lips of every resident in that locality.

A $26b dollars economy that does not have a State Library is off kilter. The existing one has been demolished by those “educated” whiz-kids who occupy Osadebe Avenue.

People travel on bad roads within this fluke of a $26b dollar economy. How can all these be reconciled?

This is why Edo people must put sentiments aside and vote for progress!! Vote for the APC candidate. He is a man of subliminal humility who rose from nothing to something.

Aside from being a grassroots politician of believable nuances, he’s a man of peace and candour that would deepen the virtue of love and harmony in Edo state.

Monday Okpebholo has the ears of the people. He will usher in a regime of piety, sobriety and subtlety, and great achievement, accompanied by emotional intelligence.

If we allow Governor Obaseki to install his progeny, we would have succeeded in building another gigantic structure for baking lies like a piece of cake, for great Edo citizens.

Allowing Obaseki to continue to be involved in how Edo State is run will not be good for us. It will not augur well for us. Senator Monday Okpebholo is the man that is well suited to run Edo State now.

Prince Kassim Afegbua, Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst writes from Abuja

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