From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
Gov, ACN, PDP bicker over alleged N300m pay, governance
FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo paid an unscheduled visit to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday but kept journalists guessing on the purpose of the visit.
He simply told journalists: “I am not here for any statement. If the governor is around and I’m in Edo State for a private visit, I should be here to say hello. Thank you very much.”
He also refused to say whether he had endorsed Oshiomhole’s re-election who is from an opposition party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Obasanjo said: “Another day I will come, I will talk, the governor will talk.”
Oshiomhole, who later spoke to journalists, also did not say what transpired between them for the 10 minutes they were in a closed-door meeting but used the opportunity to carpet the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had alleged that he had given N300 million to the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Asari Dokubo, to assist in “manipulating his re-election.”
“Everything about PDP is bribery and corruption. This characterised its over 10 years administration in the state. They are cash and carry politicians. If Asari was a man of N300 million, he would not have led the struggle of Niger Delta.
“Politics without purpose is no where. That’s what Tony Anenih is doing. The PDP guber candidate’s name is strange to many. The man himself is a stranger. Most people cannot pronounce his name accurately.”
The PDP alleged after Dokubo visited the state to deliver a lecture and declared support for the re-lection bid of Oshiomhole that the government had given N300 million to him “to acquire arms and enlist the services of militants under the ‘Community Vigilante/Volunteer Force for the purpose of the election.”
But in a swift reaction yesterday, the state chairman of the ACN, Thomas Okosun, strongly denied the allegation, saying that the PDP had resorted to blackmail “because they know they have no place again in Edo State.
“They stole our mandate in the past which we recovered through the court and the performance of the Comrade Governor has further shrunk their chance in the election.”
He said it was an issue the PDP should not consider, as that was not part of the programme of the ACN.
A statement by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP yesterday, Matthew Uroghide, said Dokubo was not from the state and did not have any reason to speak on the coming July 14 governorship election in the state.
“Alhaji Dokubo is not from Edo State and his claim that Governor Oshiomhole has performed outstandingly is not well researched. He does not have to look at the Ring Road to jump into conclusion in scoring the governor. Dokubo needs to go and see his kinsmen in Nikorogha and Ofunama in the riverine areas of Ovia South-West Local Council, Edo State and find out how his protégé has affected them. How much impact has the present government had on them? These riverine dwellers do not even have pipe-borne water let alone good roads and other infrastructure.
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