A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo, Mr. Pally Iriase, on Tuesday claimed that Gov. Godwin Obaseki had received N251 billion from the Federation purse in the last three years, and challenged him to give an account of how the money was spent.
Iriase, a former House of Representatives member, stated this at a press briefing held in Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area of Edo.
“The figure also includes monies generated from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). It is the total sum of the monthly revenue from November 2016 to November 2019.
“The monthly figures were extracted from reliable, incontrovertible and corroborated sources such as Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
“The revenue, which is net amount after deductions, does not also include receipts on account of Paris Club Refunds, the several Bail-outs funds from federal government and other receipts like SEEFOR, UBEC, among others,” Iriase said.
The former lawmaker said that the ‘huge’ revenue that had accrued to the state in the last three years did not commensurate with what was on ground in terms of development.
He said that the “contrived crisis” with the National Chairman of APC was “only a ploy to divert attention from the government’s non-performance”.
“Instead of the governor to take up the challenge and itemise his performance across the state, his media minders and paid chorus singers went on the offensive.
“This press briefing is to enlighten the people of Edo to begin to ask relevant questions about the state of affairs rather than accepting the wrong campaign agenda, based on a non-existent, but contrived, crisis being set up by the government of Edo state,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation, the Special Adviser to the Edo Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, described Iriase’s allegation as “baseless”.
“The crisis is all about the control of the state’s resources.
“While Obaseki believes that these resources should be used to serve the people, Iriase and his likes believe it should be used to ‘carry them along,’ which is another euphemism for ‘graft.’
“The crisis in the state is a battle between the forces of good and evil, with one prioritising development and the other, cronyism and hijack of the state’s resources.
“Make no mistake, the crisis in Edo has nothing to do with performance because there is no governor in Nigeria, as we speak, that has performed better than Governor Obaseki.”