Oshiomhole as we all know, is not a man to buckle even in the face of truth. He’s averse to truth. He would rather grandstand and defend the indefensible rather than issue apology to Edo people for his numerous failed projects. This is typical of most accidental politicians in Nigeria. They offer no apology to anyone but expect apology from everyone. I will only consider Oshiomhole’s flip-flops that concerns Edo people as I believe the other issues he raised were entirely his party issues.
1. Oshiomhole admitted that the emergency wing of the Central Hospital was 75% completed as at the time of its commissioning and he said he regretted the fact that Obaseki didn’t open it for use at 75% completion rate . My question to Oshiomhole is this; why did you have to hurriedly dragged the president to commission it while it was 75% completed and why didn’t you open it before you left office at the same level of completion? Oshiomhole is trying to be clever by half. He’s a man known for propaganda. He knew the emergency wing wouldn’t be completed before he left office and equipment was still being expected but he wanted to use the hospital as a propaganda tool to bow out at the twilight of his tenure and it backfired on him. We haven’t also forgotten how majority of the money that was used to build the emergency wing was without appropriation. Oshiomhole added that “if I was succeeded by PDP, I am not sure they will shut that hospital the way Godwin did”. He is right, PDP won’t shut it until now but PDP would first institute a commission of inquiry to probe every illegal activities surrounding that hospital and the report of the commision of inquiry will be submitted to EFCC for possible prosecution before opening it. I believe Oshiomhole should be thankful that he wasn’t succeeded by PDP otherwise, he would been cooling off somewhere in Kirikiri as we speak.
2. Oshiomhole said he feels pain seeing the Water Storm Project was also abandoned and the flood will be back in Benin. This is very laughable. I cannot understand why most political leaders live in denial. The flood never left Benin and he knew this as the Water Storm Project was not even 50% completed. This is evidence in the ravaging flood we have experienced during and after Oshiomhole left office. This is a project Oshiomhole told us on TV that it will cost him N30billion to construct from start to finish and Edo state don’t have such money but he would need to borrow it from the stock market. Oshiomhole eventually borrowed 30billion, started the work but abandoned it after wasting 30billion on just digging holes around Benin. These holes became death traps as people kept falling and dieing inside because of Oshiomhole’s callous disregard for human lives. Most communities had to close the holes dug in their environment for fear of losing more people. How does he want Obaseki to complete a project where all the money earmarked for it had been expended on digging holes only? You would wonder why Oshiomhole didn’t commission the project after expending the N30billion on it before he left office. If I were Obaseki, I will be busy with the probe of that project and not completion as there is nothing to complete there. You can’t be completing a project fraught with corruption.
3. Oshiomhole wants Obaseki to bring back the touts as revenue collectors. His argument is that he used the same touts as revenue collectors and the IGR of the state rose from a meagre N250million to N2.5billion monthly and as such the old order must be retained as he derided those he claimed uses computers to collect revenue. He also argued that these touts are the party’s foot soldiers during elections and they can’t afford to abandon them. It is very sad that a national chairman of a party would prefer touts to graduates. He prefers uncivilized and arbitrary manner of tax collection to a civilised and tech driven manner. Oshiomhole made it abundantly clear that he wants us to continue to perpetuate the culture of patronising gun and machetes wieilding touts who kill and maim people during elections because he wants to continue to win at all cost. You would expect Oshiomhole to encourage those using technology to collect revenues, instead he derided them. Oshiomhole’s Edo is very different from the Edo some of us envision. All over the world, the transformative power of technology is driving social change. We are living in an exciting time in technology and people behind these ideas show that with passion, resourcefulness, creativity and courage, it is possible to make a significant impact on the society and the lives of others. So, if Oshiomhole is stuck in the past, let him remain there alone.
One more thing:
I have to admit that as touching the saga in the House of Assembly, I support Oshiomhole’s stand on this as this has also been my stand since the unfortunate incident started. I have written two articles on this to condemn Obaseki’s administration for his desperation to seize legislative power in a commando style. Let me also state unequivocally that I don’t believe the recent judgement from the High Court did justice to the matter and at such, the case should be pursued to its logical conclusion. If a proper proclamation was issued to all members, no one would need to come to his inauguration wearing a short. And it would have been done in the day and in the full glare of the press and friends and family members of the members-elect. We must be very careful not to play politics with everything. It is very embarrassing that the house is still locked and legislative matters completely relegated after six months of been elected because of our disregard for the electorates who elected these representatives. Anywhere there is no legislative business, there is no democracy. It is that very arm of government that makes democracy stand firmly. Politicians must stop playing chess with people’s lives and see politics for what it is. It is service, and everything we do must reflect this purpose otherwise, we are only serving our ambitions and pockets and not the people.