Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has described Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Tony Anenih, as a selfish politician who caters for himself and his immediate family to the detriment of the majority of people from his hometown Esanland.
Reeling out a list of projects his administration has done in Esanland at the All Progressives Congress campaign flag-off in Edo central, Oshiomhole said his achievements in Edo Central includes 113 Primary Schools, 29 Secondary Schools, a brand new General Hospital, roads crisscrossing the length and breadth of Esanland, water projects in virtually all areas in Edo central, among others, adding that “I’ve done more for Esan people than Chief Anenih’s PDP will ever do.”
He said: “never in history has anybody done as many roads as we have done in Esan land”, and he went ahead to list all the roads to the thousands of party faithful and supporters who thronged the Eguare Primary School, Irrua, venue of the Campaign.
He said: “my great people of Esanland, the truth is too stubborn. I ask you: for ten years of PDP, can you list any road they did in your area? So, when Chief Tony Anenih said we are marginalising Esan, the old man needs to find out the meaning of marginalisation. I have done more for Esan people than Anenih’s PDP will ever do, even in his own Local Government.
“We have done 113 Primary schools across Esan land, all of them wearing red roof. How many schools did PDP do, zero. We have done 29 Secondary Schools, complete with red roofs. We connect with the people, we don’t deceive them. Your Party, the APC has performed and it will continue to perform.
“In AAU, don’t forget in the year 2002, AAU was closed by the PDP for one year, the average they were paying to AAU from Edo State Government was less than N100 million. Today as I speak, every month, we deliver to AAU N254 million subvention and even the one for this month has been delivered. We are paying our teachers because they are number one. We have increased the minimum wage and we are paying wages and even pensioners are paid the same day as we are paying workers.
“The arrears of pensions and gratuities for pensioners, when I came in was twelve years. Today, we have reduced it to 3 years and before I leave office, we will pay them. Nobody knows the problem of pensioners than myself because the Union of Pensioners was one of our strongest affiliates.
“If PDP had paid the gratuities of those they sacked, I wouldn’t have paid one kobo, but for twelve years, nobody was paid. Never forget that they dismissed between 5,000 and 7,000 civil servants in 2000. They sacked all the Permanent-Secretaries in 2000 and did not pay them any gratuity.
“Anenih can say he made himself Minister, correct. He made himself the Chairman of NPA, correct. He made Onolemenmen from Uromi Minister, correct, but we can’t pass through the road to Benin, and we can’t pass the road to Uromi. He produced Itotoh as Minister of Education, they did not build schools in Uromi, I did. For Anenih, empowerment means giving jobs to your family members, but Esan people is not about Anenih’s family, it’s about the man in Opebholo, the man in Ubiaja, the man in Ewohinmi, the man in Igueben, the man in Irrua, the man in Opoji, and everywhere, that is what we call Esan. Esan is not equivalent to Chief Anenih and his immediate family, no I refuse.
“The truth is PDP can never forgive people like me because we have over-liquidated them. They are finished in Abuja, they are finished in Benin, they are finished in Uromi, we are in charge.
“They told all kind of lies that they wanted to do water in Uromi and I refused to bring N300 million. The truth is, the traditional ruler of Ugboha led a delegation to my office in 2011 when the then Vice President, Namadi Sambo said he was coming to commission a water project. When they wrote, the traditional ruler said he would not allow them because they took water from Ugboha River, destroyed their farmland, and said they were taking water to Uromi. Why would they in Ugboha not get water, so I said no. Our brothers and sisters in Uromi told me, and it is the truth, that there is no water even in Uromi, what they have done, typical of PDP, was to put overhead tanks, put water tanker, pour water into it for Namadi Sambo to commission.
“When I went to Abuja, I told Namadi Sambo, are you ready to be part of Chief Tony Anenih’s deceit, I told him he was being deceived to commission one overhead water tank which they called Esan Water works. He now sent SSS to confirm, and he was shocked that although they took the money in full, pocketed N2.5 billion, they did not do the water.
“Chief Anenih has achieved a lot for himself in politics, but not for his people. He didn’t get them water, hospital, nothing.”
Oshiomhole said the APC gubernatorial candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki has been part of his government for almost eight years and understands the issues. So he will continue from where he (Oshiomhole) stops on November 12 and do more for the people of Esanland.
On his part, the party’s candidate, Mr Obaseki said he will build on the legacies of great Esan leaders including Chief Anthony Enahoro, Prof Ambrose Alli and others and build on the successes recorded by the Oshiomhole government in almost eight years.
He promised that his government will connect Edo North and Edo Central through Anegbette to Uzea, saying his government will focus on human development.
On agriculture, Obaseki said Esanland used to produce most of the nation’s poultry requirements, promising that reviving the poultry industry in Esanland will form part of the agricultural revolution of his government.