By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had on Thursday challenged the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to declare his health status to justify the monthly N1 million tax payers money he allegedly spend on “essential drugs” monthly.
Edo State Chairman of PDP, Dan Orbih disclosed this at a Media briefing at the party secretariat in Benin City, the state Capital, where he accused the governor of padding the 2018 budget with the sum of N4 billion.
He said, “Again, under his office, he has provided the sum of N1m every month for essential drugs. The question one is forced to ask is, is Obaseki sick? How come every month we use N1m to buy essential drugs for the governor? We are forced to ask, what exactly is wrong with Obaseki?”
Orbih said the N150.09 billion budget recently signed into law by the governor failed to address the growing army of unemployed youths in the state. He noted that, “The 10 percent of the budget went to his own office. I will give you the
breakdown to illustrate how unserious this APC government is. He has allocated the sum of N1.5 billion to his office – that is an office that involves the governor and his personal secretary and aides.
“He (Obaseki) had also voted N4 billion as security vote. This is a state where crime rate has become unprecedented.”
He lamented that the state government has also earmarked the sum of N134 million
for water fountain, while extra N10 million was set aside for its maintenance, when there is no water for the citizens of the state to drink. He also said the governor voted over N2.5 billion for protocol and entertainment, noting that, “that is not the kind of governor the people of the state voted for”.
Going further, he faulted the abandonment of the newly established ultimate billion Central Hospital and constant allocation of funds to it.
“But looking at the budget as presented by Obaseki, which he has since signed into law, you will agree with me that the 2018 budget, which is now a document that in every sense is regarded as law, is a budget of padding, duplication and deceit. (Because) “That hospital was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari. You will be shocked to know that since that hospital was opened, not even one
single patient has been admitted. The place is under lock and key.
“Last year, they voted money for completion of the project that was already completed and commissioned by Buhari. This year, he has provided N469,613,835 for provision of equipment and construction of new accident and emergency ward”, he said.
Reacting to all these allegations, the Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the PDP couldn’t appreciate the plans and initiatives contained in the budget because it was still stuck in primitive politics and a system that glorifies avarice.
Mr Crusoe, in a statement, said the budget has been hailed by experts in the development circles, academia and Civil society for its focus on fortifying growth enabling sectors of the economy and forthrightness.