By John Mayaki
The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the September 19th Governorship election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has beaten a hasty exit halfway through a debate organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The debate, which was supposed to pitch the PDP gubernatorial candidate against his APC counterpart, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was ongoing in Benin City when the governor suddenly excused himself claiming to have important matters to handle.
The governor asked his deputy to replace him following the posing of 25 questions the APC camp planned for the Governor.
According to the Chairman of the APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, “We had only asked Mr Obaseki one question before he stood up and fled. How can a man be so unserious? He already absconded from the previous gubernatorial debate earlier scheduled by the Nigerian Governorship Debate Group.
“For how long will he continue to hoodwink people and run away? The same man suddenly claimed to have business affairs to handle after he appeared for screening at the APC office before he was rightfully disqualified. Now look at his deputy saying that Edo students have only artificial intelligence. They don’t even regard Edo children as important.”
Mayaki went further to explain that the governor’s worrying trend highlights the disorganisation with which he had managed Edo State over the last four years and that it was time for him “to step aside for more serious minded people to govern the state.”
The questions posed by the APC;
1. We understand the world bank recently approved 75m dollars to your government? Is this a loan or grant? If this is a loan, is this desirable in view of the fact that edo state is the second most exposed state to foreign lenders after lagos? You also earlier this year collected another facility through SIFTAS another world bank loan without any tangible results or impact?
2. Edo state has lost 40% of its teaching workforce to retirement and death etc yet your government refused to embark on new recruitment exercise? Is teacher recruitment less important than appointment of SSA? Is this not a negation of the objective of your EdoBEST educational policy?
3. In 2018 you got your EXCO to approve the sum of N700m as contribution to the modular refinery at ologbo. Records show that the cost of the refinery is $10m. Your N700m amount to 0.02%, does this confer ownership to the state?
4. In the last 3 years your government is reputed for shutting down all major higher institutions aside Ambrose Alli university, Ekpoma. What is the rational for this decision? Is this in line with your policy of human capital development?
5. Why is it that after nearly 4 years in office as Governor of Edo State, your government has not been able to promulgate the laws of Edo State and has therefore resorted to the use of laws of Bendel State and in some cases, laws of Mid-West Region in the year 2020?
6. Edo State is the only State or one of the very few States that has refused to buy official vehicles for serving Magistrates and Area Court Presidents, thereby subjecting such officers to undue influence of complainants and accused persons who take the liberty to provide such facilities for such officers. Is this not against the interest of justice to the public?
7. During your inauguration in 2016 you reffered to Adams Oshiomhole as a mentor and leader in your widely televised address but right now you refer to him as a godfather. Please explain the sudden turn around ( this can come up if they talk of Oshiomhole and POI relationship)
8. You promised 192 health care centers across the 192 wards in the state. You got EXCO to approve 22 mini stadia across the state. But there are no mini stadia anywhere and you have done only 22 PHC amounting to 11.4%, is this not a total failure?
8. Recall that the central promise of your 2016 election campaign was that you will continue the programmes and policy of the immediate past administration under which you served as Chief Economic Adviser. Can you confirm all that you have done in the last three and half years of your administration to deliver on that campaign pledge to Edo people?
9. You promised to create 200,000 jobs in your campaign in 2016. By your own admission you didn’t meet the target, as you could only do 157,000. In this campaign, you have not set any specific target number of jobs to be created if re-elected. Why?
10. Your government claims to have bought into Edo Modular Refinery in Ologbo, to the tune of N700m. The refinery is being built at an initial cost of $10m. The equity stakes of Edo State government is less than 20%. Can you clarify to Edo people that the private majority owner of this modular refinery is not a proxy company belonging to you and your friends?
Under which law of the state was this investment undertaken by your government?
11. Your government has fanned out the running of the new complex of Edo State Specialist Hospital to a private venture. There have been serious protests against this move by civil society organisations and the general public. The complex was initiated by the immediate past administration under which you
served. Under what legal framework of the state is the decision to fan out the new complex to private venture premised? What personal interest do you have in the venture as alleged?
Can the less-privileged in the state be treated in that health facility today under the private management company?
12. The state capital and other major cities in the state are experiencing serious flood and erosion challenges. In particular, Benin City is virtually submerged in flood when it rains. Your predecessors, including the one under which you served, have played critical roles in tackling this problem. In the last three and half years, your administration has done nothing to continue the with tackling this problem. What has hindered you? What is the state of Benin Storm Water project today? Why has it been abandoned?
13. Education is one of the critical sectors of the state. Why has your government not recruited teachers for public schools in over 3 years since becoming governor?
14. Your administration has been criticized for building very substandard roads, most of them without drains and side walks.
What’s the challenge?
There’s also the charge that one company owned by your personal friend, Mr. Dele Edokpayi, is responsible for these mushroom road construction activities.
How do you justify this conflict of interest to Edo people?
15. Your administration shut down College of Agriculture at Iguoriakhi, Ovia South West local government, Edo south and sent workers in the college into the labour market. Despite a court judgement directing you to re-instate the workers and reopen the school, your administration has refused. How do you justify throwing worker of that college into the labour market and terminating the academic career of students there?
16. All members of the State House of Assembly are from the party under whose ticket you became Governor. How do you explain the failure of leadership to have hitch-free legislative governance system in the state during your tenure? Are you happy with it? What efforts have you made to make the members close ranks for the overall benefit of good governance in Edo State?
17. You increased the security votes of your administration. Yet, the state continues to be the den of criminals, with reports of kidnapping, murder, armed banditry everywhere. Many neighbouring states have initiated alternative approach to securing public safety and public order, using vigilante outfits across the local government. Why has your administration not explored this workable option? What quantum of fiscal support is given to security forces in the state to tackle the insecurity?
18. You have been accused of importing non indigenes as your handlers in government notably your PA who is from delta state, the manager of the specialist hospital is from delta state, your personal photographer is from ogun state, the contractors handling the secretariat complex renovation is Lebanese, offcial cooks for all official events are from lagos? How do you intend to build local capacity and content? Yet your new mantra is Edo is not lagos?
19. You made 25 trips to India, China, Belgium and other countries in search of investors between 2017 and 2019. Please, how many investors do we have in edo state at the moment as a result of your numerous trips? What’s the situation with Gelegele, industrial park etc?
20. You promised the people of edo state that you will build a brand new museum within 20 months beginning from 2017. Please, Edo people will like to know the status of the new museum.
21. In your campaigns, you keep labeling the APC as a failed party without any achievement yet you have been governor under the APC in Edo state until June 2020. Please explain
22. The National Bureau of statistics stated in their recent report that edo state did not record fresh investments in the last few months? But this is contrary to your claims? Any explanation?
23. The 200,000 jobs you claim you have created have not resulted into a jump in your PAYE Tax collection by the EIRS? Are these new jobbers tax exempt?
24. You promised to eliminate thuggery in the state, but under your watch thuggery and hooliganism has surged and crime rate is at its highest peak at the moment. Could you throw light on this?