By Ngozi Ekhator
Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, has said that the sacked national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, was summoned by the presidency to explain his role in the series of violent attacks on the Edo State Governor and other members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, contrary to the lies he told Nigerians on national television.
Osagie who spoke to journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the series of barefaced lies told by the sacked national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole, on a CHANNELS Television news programme, on Monday, August 17, 2020.
“The former national chairman of the APC had a field day on Monday churning out lies. Contrary to Oshiomhole’s claim that he went to see President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to brief him on the outcomes of the party’s campaigns in Edo, the former APC national chairman was actually summoned to the Villa to explain his role in the series of violent attacks on members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the ongoing electioneering campaigns in Edo State, preparatory to the September 19 gubernatorial election.”
According to the governor’s aide, “Some of the attacks include the one on the convoy of Governor Godwin Obaseki, when he paid a courtesy visit to the Benin Monarch; the attack on the governor’s convoy in Apana (Oshiomhole’s Ward), Etsako West Local Government Area, while the governor was going to the community to campaign to his supporters there, and of course, the alarm raised by the deputy governor of the state, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, that assassins were brought into Edo State, by Oshiomhole, from Kogi State to eliminate leaders of the PDP, including himself.”
He explained that “the security reports unnerved the presidency, and they decided to invite Oshiomhole for a meeting to shed light on his roles in the sponsored attacks.
“Oshiomhole told Nigerians on national television that the governor and his deputy took to the use of firearms to generate confusion when they didn’t see any crowd, in Opana, his own ward, where as what actually transpired was that Oshiomhole’s sponsored thugs attacked Governor Obaseki’s convoy on their way to Opana for a campaign rally. It took the intervention of security aides attached to the Governor and his deputy, to ward off the attackers.”
Osagie noted: “Oshiomhole thinks Nigerians are pliable people who do not use their heads. Nigerians know that politicians do use gunshots to invite people to political rallies, instead it was Oshiomhole’s thugs that attacked the governor, and wanted to scare away people from the rally. For the records, Oshiomhole lied to Nigerians. Everything he said was a lie.
“The former APC national chairman also claimed that the APC has massive support in Edo State and argued that he is confident that the party will win the election because Edo is an APC state.
“As a matter of fact, Oshiomhole’s recklessness has shutdown Edo people’s interest in the APC, and they have all moved to the PDP. The Edo State of today is a PDP state. The hired crowd that the APC paraded during their district campaigns does not reflect the party’s popularity in the state.
“The most reliable way of measuring a candidate’s popularity in an election like the one we are preparing for in Edo State, is the number of supporters a candidate has at the ward level, as we have seen in the ward-ward-campaigns by Governor Obaseki of the PDP.”
“Again Oshiomhole lied that there is no modular refinery in Benin City. The truth is, Edo Refinery is 80 percent ready for use and it is located in Ologbo, along the Benin-Sapele Road axis of the state. The various Memoranda of Understanding which the Obaseki-led administration entered into, have birthed other projects, such as the 1500 EDPA-Mixta Africa Housing project in Upper Sokponba area of the state; the CCETC-Ossiomo power project that is awaiting commissioning by the relevant federal government agencies; Jara Mall, a retail outlet located at Second East Circular Road junction, while work on the Benin River Port and the Benin Industrial Park projects is ongoing,” he added.
On the claim that Obaseki has not built schools, Osagie urged journalists to check with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in Abuja, to establish the falsehood in Oshiomhole’s broadcast. “For any state government to access UBEC funds, there are strict criteria you must follow. The federal government agency also carries out oversight on the use of the funds, so Nigerians must ignore Oshiomhole with his lies.
“At the last count, the Obaseki government has rebuilt over 230 public schools. We have the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme that has changed the face of public education in the state, and has attracted countries like Rwanda, Sierra-leone, Uganda and Tanzania, including Lagos State that are now replicating the model in their educational systems.”
“The point must be made that Oshiomhole remains a suspended member of the APC, and the President could not have invited a suspended member of the APC to give him situation reports about developments in the party, when there are state, regional and national leaders of the party, including the various security agencies whose duties include to brief the presidency on security issues around the country regularly,” he stressed.
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