Home / Lead Story / Oshiomhole declares total war against Igbinedion: I cannot fear him; He is a thief – Gov. insists
Gov. Adams Oshiomhole addressing the women

Oshiomhole declares total war against Igbinedion: I cannot fear him; He is a thief – Gov. insists

Gov. Adams Oshiomhole addressing the women
Gov. Adams Oshiomhole addressing the women

GODWIN AGENE, Benin

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Monday, declared war on the Igbinedion family for ‘daring him’ in the face of his earlier allegations of corruption and embezzlement against the former governor of the state, Lucky Igbinedion and his father, the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion,

Oshiomhole told hundreds of women dressed in all white attires, Monday, who were on a counter-protest march through major roads in Benin, the Edo state capital in solidarity with Governor Oshiomhole and the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government in the state, that he was innocent of whatever Chief Igbinedion, his ‘red women’ and supporters may have said against him.oshio4

The women’s march follows an earlier solidarity march by another group of women through the streets of Benin in solidarity with Igbinedion over allegations levelled against him by the governor.

Governor Oshiomhole who declared total war against Chief Gabriel Igbinedion and his political allies ‘for daring him despite dragging the state to ruins’ also ‘vowed to open all books linking the Igbinedions with alleged fraudulent misappropriation of huge sums of money belonging to people of the state.’

The women who converged on the Anthony Enahoro legislative complex on Kings square, were drawn from the three senatorial districts of Edo state and all the ethnic nationalities of Ijaw, Igbo, Yoruba and other parts of the country stormed the Dennis Osadebay Avenue Government House to declare their support for Governor Oshiomhole.

They condemned in very strong terms the recent protest by some women adorned in red who visited the Emotan shrines and a traditional priest with curses against the Comrade Governor over the verbal attacks between him and Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, former governor Lucky Igbinedion and all their supporters in government between 1999-2007 under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Displaying placards of various inscriptions, the protesters who spoke in local dialects of Esan, Bini, Etsako, Yoruba, Igbo and Ijaw among others, said they were at the seat of power to pay their loyalty and support as well as pray for Oshiomhole for God’s protection and for all his numerous achievements since assumption of office.

“We are here (Government house) to tell Comrade Governor to carry on, that is why we are in white. Whatever they say and do, back to sender.”

Addressing the mammoth crowd, Governor Oshiomhole noted that he was innocent of whatever Chief Igbinedion, his ‘red women’ and supporters may have said against him simply because of his resolve to say the truth and resolve to serve the interest of the people of the state,” they said.

Oshiomhole who condemned the action of those he described as self serving individuals and groups who claimed that he disrespected the Bini chiefs for standing his ground on matters of principle as the chief steward of the state over the mismanagement of the resources and properties belonging to the state by the then eight years PDP led administration under Chief Lucky Igbinedion, explained that his grouse with the Esama, his son and others who served in that government, was also for refusing to be subservient to them.

He stated that it was Chief Gabriel Igbinedion who stirred the hornet’s nest when he deployed his private television station to peddle lies that he beat up a reverend father in Esanland even when he ‘as a Catholic knows the implication of such an unruly act.’

Besides, the governor said ‘it was Chief Igbinedion who allegedly brought himself to disrepute by collaborating with his son and former governor of the state to appropriate over 2,000 kilometer-hectares of land belonging to the state which Chief Lucky Igbinedion reserved for his father while he was governor and which the father sold to farmers and collected royalty in the process even when he is not a traditional ruler in the state.’

According to Oshiomhole, “If an old man is a thief and I call him a thief; who disgraced himself? He disgraced himself. I said that government land the former governor reserved thousands of acres of land and gave it to his father and the father converted the land and was allocating it to farmers and they pay royalties to him and I said no the land belongs to Edo state government. Chief Igbinedion is not a royal father to collect royalty.

“It is the Oba who owns the land as His Royal Majesty; if the Oba does not collect royalty why must Igbinedion collect royalty? Edo people are everywhere and nobody collects royalty from them. The former governor used his power to give the land to his father and I used my own power as governor to return the land to Edo people and I asked the farmers to pay taxes to the state government.

“As we are now the people of Okada have taken Igbinedion to court for taking their land. People say I don’t have respect for people, what type of respect is that? If his son had powers to give land to his father and I as a governor have the same power also to return the land back to the state government,” he stated.

Oshiomhole added that the state government under Chief Lucky Igbinedion breached a memorandum of understanding signed by his administration to train 300 student nurses and doctors at N1m per student and never paid a dime for each of them while same illegal business was entered into at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital also in Benin City to train nurses at N150, 000 per student yet nothing was paid into government coffers.

“Igbinedion used N360m to build Eghor fruit juice and sold it at N200m or less; he used inflated huge sum to build Cassavita plant in Uromi and sold it at a peanut, Bendel brewery was producing beer before but they ran it down. They owed over N1bn as debt and the company is in court with Churchgate at the High Court; the money they borrowed we are still paying the debt. In Akoko Edo they borrowed $31m to set up factory with the state government owning 15 percent without anything to show for it. In GRA they sold half of government properties to themselves. Today Edo state government has no guest houses, they sold them to themselves.

“If people fear Igbinedion I cannot fear him; if these things happen to your family won’t you be ashamed? Every evil they plan will consume them. In 2012 election he wore the same red and declared war against me but he failed woefully. For me God in heaven will define my tomorrow. If anybody worships a thief I will not be part of it. He who seeks equity must keep his two hands clean. We will make public whatever is hidden, we will open the books. Whenever election comes we will publish our report card for seven years, they will also make public their report card for ten years.”

While thanking the women for their maximum support and solidarity, the governor declared that “any red worn by Igbinedion one million times can only destroy him not me.”

He further told the women that, “Your white clothes will cover every red and bring peace and development to your families and the state.”

Oshiomhole promised to do his best in the remaining years towards the development of the state and to complete all ongoing projects across the three senatorial districts of the state.

About Global Patriot Staff

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