Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has warned a Benin High Chief, Gabriel Igbinedion, to desist from undermining contravening the laws in the state as government has the capacity and the will to contain his excesses.
He also asked the state Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) to tender unreserved apology to the people of Edo State for the lapses recorded in the Local Government election held in the state, last weekend.
Speaking during the swearing-in of fourteen the newly elected Local Government chairmen in the state yesterday, the Governor said “there is evidence that he (Igbinedion) has undermined the prosperity of the state for a very long time. Those who live glass houses do not throw stones.”
The Governor said: “I want to send a warning to Chief Igbinedion that he should take it easy, he has acquired a lot of government land that the people have not engaged him on. He walks as if he is above the law, he was a chief tax collector in this state, pocketing twenty five to thirty percent of every kobo that accrued while his son was the governor. I have not looked back because my mandate is to look forward.”
The governor said, “I want to put him on notice that if he continues with elderly rascality, I will bring him to justice. He must never ever underestimate the fact that I have the will and I have the capacity to deploy that will, if he crosses the law he will be cut to size. Elders must teach the younger ones to behave responsibly.”
According to him, “You heard how he is using ITV in a very reckless manner in a clear breach of the NBC code. He reduced himself as a high chief, reduced himself to a thug, leaving where he is registered to vote and going all the way to Okada on a day movement was restricted across the state, he got to Okada and illegally used Mobile policemen to be walking on the street going to the police station where sensitive election materials were being kept in other to vandalize the sensitive electoral materials to ensure elections did not take place.
“How can Gabriel Igbinedion who claims to be Esama of Benin be leading the way for thuggery in Okada. If he misleads himself into believing that he has the birth right to continue to appropriate, privatize the resources of Edo State, he is living in a fool’s paradise, Edo money will never flow to the Igbinedion house any money. That can’t happen, Okada people complained how Charles Igbinedion as a local government chairman privatised the resources of the local government and transferred them to the house of Igbinedion. Nothing to show on the ground, we tolerate him because as they say, who are we to do the work of God. God will do justice to those who are in the wrong.
“I want to reassure not only Edo people but all Nigerians that I am committed and I remain committed and I shall ever be committed to the principle of one man one vote. It is not a choice. In a democracy there is no alternative to that’, he maintained.
The Governor said “in the last election there were issues that I was deeply troubled myself. The fact,
that election materials did not arrive on time from Lagos. As a responsible government, we did our
best to ensure that those materials were properly secured. We did our best to ensure that those
materials, talking to authorities in Lagos, to provide security to ensure that those materials were
delivered to EDSIEC.”
He noted it was to the credit of the government that those materials were printed outside Nigeria and the materials were not delivered secretly EDSIEC.
“All the stories that the People Democratic Party (PDP) were peddling that results have been written is absolute rubbish. The fact that the materials arrived late from Lagos under the supervision and escort of a Federal Government Police dismisses all the rubbish they were talking.
“The Honourable Minister of Works, ordinarily a gentleman, but unable to explain why he can’t win election because he only constructs road on the eve of elections. He used mobile Police to prevent the election from being held at Uromi.
“At Auchi, they brought thugs, after they had distributed materials for some hours. They brought thugs to disrupt the exercise. And the police were supervising the thuggery. These were things that were happening, but you can’t defeat the truth,” he added.
The Governor said the PDP plotted to disrupt the election because they know they couldn’t win, saying “as hard as they tried, they could not stop what God has willed.”
He called on EDSIEC to apologise to people of the state for the lapses recorded in the election saying: “I have told the EDSIEC Chairman and his group that they must tender apology whether by themselves or the contractor or both for getting election materials late into Edo State. Even though I can see that they meant well. I have told them it is not about saying I am sorry, but saying so to the good people of Edo State,” he noted.
He maintained that those who manage election must be sensitive to the feeling of the people, stressing that, “ I do believe that they would deal with this.”
Speaking to the local government chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole said, “you asked for the people’s vote for only one reason, to continue the tradition of the ACN of managing public resources so creatively as to deliver maximum benefit to the people of your respective local government areas.”
The governor who urged to Chairman to do projects that will add value to the lives of the people advised them to, “respect people, but don’t appropriate or subordinate the resources of your local government to please individuals no matter who he is or the role he claims to have played in your election.”
Speaking on behalf of the new Local Government Chairmen, Mrs Lucy Omagbon, Chairman Ovia North East Local Government Area assured the Governor that they would work to ensure the development o their Local Government Areas.