By TUNDE BADMUS
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has denied the shocking and scandalous documents alleging huge waste and massive misappropriation of public funds under him.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Okhiria, recently, he described the documents as false. In his words: “They have been parading those documents for long… they are not our documents and we don’t know where they sourced them from.”
The documents which are believed to be signed official payment vouchers of Edo State Government showed that within a few months in 2014 alone, over three hundred and seventy one million, forty four thousand and one hundred naira (371,044,100) was spent on security and allied matters.
These disbursements and payments included but not limited to the three hundred million naira (300,000,000) paid in three tranches and tagged “amount released for urgent state security challenges” on 2nd April, 18th September and 27thSeptember, 2014.
There were also other documents like the twenty three million, two hundred and forty thousand five hundred naira (23, 240,500) paid on 5th March and twenty one million, one hundred and fifty two thousand (21, 152,000) paid on 10th February “being payment of security allowance for men and officers of Operation Thunderstorm in Edo State”.
Again, in July of the same year, sixteen million, two hundred and fifty thousand (16,250,000) was “released for the upkeep of the Governor’s Lodge.” Six months earlier, ten million, four hundred thousand, six hundred (10,400,600) was approved for “choice drinks purchased at various times when the governor played host to some important dignitaries and seven million, five hundred and twenty thousand naira “being payment for the assorted drinks purchased for use in Government Guest Houses on 11th, 12th, 15th, 20th and 21st November 2013”.
Oshiomhole has not been having things easy as the governorship election of Wednesday, 28 September approaches. The opposition party has not spared his government, as they insist that the Comrade Governor earned far more than the two governments of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP before it, yet he has not delivered as expected.
Osa Director, an Edo born journalist and lawyer, also holds this view. According to him, “Oshiomhole lives a double life. He pretends to fight for the masses in the day time but dines and plots with the oppressors at night on how to further pauperise the hapless masses. In fact, the man is a disgrace to the labour movement.”
The human rights lawyer and activist added that the people of Edo State will pay him back on election day “as they will massively reject Godwin Obaseki, his candidate as the choice of Edo people is clearly Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of PDP who has been described as grassroots politician and man of the people”.