Foremost social rights defender and humanitarian, Patriot Patrick Eholor has asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to stop trying to distract Edo people with what he termed a ‘frivolous probe of the N30 billion stormwater project of ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Eholor was reacting to news reports of Obaseki threading to institute a probe against the former governor. The activist and Democracy Observer-General said Obaseki was not serious about the claim to probe Oshiomhole, as he was a principal player of that administration and must probe himself too if he really meant it.
Governor Godwin Obaseki had on Monday, 22nd February 2021, inspected the Textile Mill Road catchment of the over N30bn Benin stormwater project, which he said his administration would probe to recover all the money stolen through it.
Commenting through his personal Twitter handle, Obaseki, while inspecting the area, lamented the poor construction work done by the Adams Oshiomhole administration.
According to him, “there is no way water can be drained from a low land into a higher ground. We say we have experts and paid over N30bn for this project”, he said, and recalled that “the original stormwater project, which was conceived by the previous administration “was designed not to work for the benefit of Edo people, but it was a contract to defraud the state.”
But reacting to the statement credited to the governor, Eholor said the governor cannot be serious, since he was a part of the Oshiomhole administration, and as a matter of fact, played a major role in serving as Oshiomhole’s Economic Adviser.
Alleging that Obaseki’s plans were to institute a kangaroo probe in order to distract the people of Edo State, the human rights defender wondered why Mr. Obaseki appealed his own(Eholor’s) lawsuit against the state during the last administration. He also wondered why the governor also appealed another recent case he(Eholor) won against the government. He, therefore, asked the governor to focus on governance, especially the porous security of the state, instead of trying to distract the people through an insincere move to probe a project allegedly used to dupe the state that he was part of.
His words “I was surprised and shocked to hear the governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki say that he is going to probe the previous administration over the stormwater project.
“Has Mr. Governor forgotten so soon that I had instituted a case against the former governor, Adams Oshiomhole, himself, and Clement Agba? And he went to court appealing the case after I won them in court? So what is he now trying to prove?
Is he trying to distract us, so that we don’t talk about the park he said he is going to build? So that we don’t talk about Gelegele? So that we don’t talk about Central Hospital? So what is he really trying to prove?
“Don’t also forget that I took him to court to explain to Edo State State people about the capital flight, why he was taking our juicy jobs away to contractors in Lagos and Bayelsa, which he has not explained. So, if he is going to talk about this, then he must include himself in this probe because you can never be a judge in your own court.
“Don’t also forget that even the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) that they did with the Edo University, Iyamho, he was also part of it. Everything that Oshiomhole did within his administration, Governor Obaseki also has to explain to us. They also have to probe him and tell us the roles he played in all, as the Economic Adviser of Oshiomhole’s administration. We don’t want to turn this thing into a Rochas and Uzodimma affair because if the two elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers it.
“We are not supporting any corruption, but we are not also going to be supporting any witch-hunting. You cannot dispose of a godfather and now become the new godfather. So, this can never happen in our state again, we have grown beyond that. So whenever anybody wants to talk in our state again, you use your foot soldiers to be threatening people and fighting people, giving somebody taxes that don’t exist, and trying to prove that you are an emperor, or that you are a god. You are not God.
“I am not here to support Adams Oshiomhole, or to support APC. but am here to make sure that we do things in the right way, so if anything I say or do today is wrong, I think Obaseki has to prove me or take me to court, because I remain, and I speak on behalf of One Love Foundation, and I speak on behalf of Edo people.
“It has also been said in the past Obaseki has not invested in security in Edo State. That’s why we have a lot of killings, a lot of kidnappings, a lot of herdsmen. I think he should focus on how to combat crime and deal with herdsmen, then distracting us again. So, we are tired of distractions.
“He should tell us about his MoU on Gelegele Seaport, he should tell us about the modern park he said he is going to build.
“We are tired of him deceiving us, telling us things that don’t exist. I have been saying this in the past, why did you go and appeal the case, why did you not take it seriously then? There are a lot of cases I have instituted against you that you have not really spoken about, that you have not really done anything about.
“So, I think the world is watching, and we Edo people are also watching with keenness. And I also want all those people who think I am against Obaseki, no, I am not against him. I am actually doing him a favour. I am bringing out these issues in order for us all to live peacefully in Edo State, so it’s bound to be very interesting and we are watching with keen interest.