The commissioners representing the three senatorial districts of Edo State in the Edo State Oil Gas Producing Area Commission (EDOSOPADEC), who announced their resignation on Monday, have visited the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, at his campaign office in Benin.
They pledged their solidarity and condemned Governor Godwin Obaseki for his alleged deception, fraud and lack of empathy.
At the meeting, Prince Emmanuel Odigie of Edo Central Senatorial District, Rilwanu Oshiomhole of Edo North and Osamwonyi Atu of Orhionmwon decried the Obaseki administration for allegedly disempowering the commission with the incessant diversion of funds meant for projects.
Odigie from Esan land, Edo Central, accused the governor of being overambitious and without love or empathy for those he was elected to lead.
He slammed Obaseki’s repeated threats to ‘crush’ anyone not supportive of his political choice and victimisation of elected officials, who have refused to join him in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as a vicious display of tyranny detrimental to growth and development.
Odigie said the governor’s touted ‘Esan agenda’ is a deceitful plan designed to obtain votes.
“Which Esan person has he empowered in his government or given relevance? All his promises to the people have gone unfulfilled. Instead of focusing on governance, he is doing everything to bring every Edo person down. The people of Esan can see through the ruse and deception,” he said.
Atu lamented the lack of development in his area despite its status as a major oil-producer in the state. He regretted working for Governor Obaseki, saying his resignation and resolve to back the governorship bid of Pastor Ize-Iyamu is borne out of the desire to end Obaseki’s non-performance and vindictive governance.
Rilwanu Oshiomhole criticised Obaseki’s castigation of individuals instead of focusing on governance and policies, saying his administration has abandoned the people.
Ize-Iyamu, receiving them, described their courageous resignation as a “milestone in the journey to move Edo State forward, change the current deceitful government and install a government that will represent the people.”
He said the current situation where people are abandoning the government in droves, as opposed to the familiar event of jostling for appointments, is an indication that Obaseki has failed and is set for an embarrassing defeat at the polls on September 19.
Ize-Iyamu said: “I salute the courage of these men who heeded the call of their conscience and placed their integrity over office to resign from a government that is insincere, fraudulent and deceitful.
“I know that in their usual practice of castigating and smearing the image of people not supportive of their plan to foist themselves on the state for another term, the government will likely begin the spread of baseless reports, claiming that these men were induced to make the decision they made.
“But as they can testify to everyone here, this is the first time I am meeting them in a long while. Their decision to resign was made on their own accord based on their integrity and unwillingness to be part of a government without profitable plans for their people.
“I thank Prince Odigie for the revelations he has made today, especially on the deceitful ‘Esan agenda’ that the incumbent governor is bandying. A governor that does not respect the Esan people or empower them, is that the governor who will hand over power to them?”
He promised to work with the former commissioners as they, on their part, also vowed to reveal more facts about the fraudulent ways of the incumbent governor.