…Aide says Obaseki’s “MEGA” manifesto will address post-COVID-19 economic shocks in Edo***
…As Obaseki denies alleged unfair award of contracts***
Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu on Tuesday said that pensioners in the state no longer wear black nor take to the streets because the government had made their welfare a priority.
He spoke in Ibillo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state while addressing a campaign rally.
“Our first citizens no longer take to the streets to protest the non-payment of their pension and entitlements
“They no longer wear black to protest. Gov. Godwin Obaseki has taken them off the streets. We, the people of the state, are going to return him back to office to continue the good work he has been doing for the past three and half years.
“Some lawmakers have been mobilised to buy your votes, please use your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to thrown them out,” he said.
In a related development, Mr Osagie Crusoe, Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, says his re-election, will bolster the state’s economy to tackle the vagaries of the post-Coronavirus (COVID-19) era.
Osagie gave the assurance in a statement, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Benin on Tuesday.
He said that as world leaders grappled with the economic realities occasioned by COVID-19 and rejigged policies to assuage the impacts, Obaseki has initiated Making Edo Great Again (MEGA) manifesto.
Osagie said the PDP candidate in the Sept. 19 gubernatorial election had designed socio-economic policies contained in MEGA manifesto that would address the challenges arising from the pandemic.
He said: “Our manifesto is alive to the challenges of today and the future, with specific policies and programmes tailored to reflate and stimulate the state’s economy.
“In our manifesto, a section is devoted to the post-COVID-19 economy. In that section, the governor said that he would be running a post-COVID-19 economy after the election.
“This would task our resolve to restart the economy even as we push for an economic stimulus package to resuscitate businesses, sustain livelihoods and hold the economy together.
“In essence, our focus would be on supporting businesses with low interest loan facilities; strengthening the productive sector by prioritising the Edo Production Hub Initiative and pursuing more impactful policies in the agricultural sector.”
He said the reforms in the Edo State College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Edo State College of Education would be sustained under Obaseki’s second tenure.
The special adviser said the administration would source for more partners to pull in resources to groom youth in the state for global competitiveness.
“We will leverage on our assets at the Edo Innovation Hub to migrate more of our people, especially workers and businesses to the digital space, because much of human activities will be done online going forward.
“We will increase investment in the health care system while ensuring the statewide rollout of a responsive and well-managed health insurance scheme.
“Obaseki is an economist and an expert in resource management.
“He will not rely on consultants to know what economic policy can fittingly address the state’s several socio-economic challenges,” he added.
In the meantime, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has denied the allegation of bloated contracts, using his company, Afrinvest Ltd., to siphon state’s funds.
Obaseki’s denial is contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie and made available to the newsmen on Tuesday in Benin.
Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the platform of ‘Concerned PDP members’, had petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), alleging unfair awards of contracts to companies in which the governor had a personal interest.
The petition was authored by one Andrew Egboigbe, who claimed to be a PDP member in Ward 3, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo, on behalf of the other petitioners.
Osagie states: “Our attention has been drawn to the baseless petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) published in the media on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
“In the petition, one Andrew Egboigbe, who is said to be a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 3, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo, accused Gov. Obaseki of unfair award of contracts to companies.
“The allegation is false and a feeble attempt to tarnish the image of the Edo State Governor.
“Edo, under Gov. Obaseki, prides herself as one of the most transparent states in the management of finances.
“As a matter of fact, Edo has been rated highly by the World Bank and other development institutions for her openness and transparency in the allocation of scarce resources, beginning with the process of making her budget, awards of contracts and release of funds to contractors’’.
He stated that the Edo government understood that during the electioneering times that the state is in currently, such bogus and baseless claims could be sponsored the opposition.
“As we head into the election, our eyes are constantly on the ball and we will not be distracted by such falsehoods,’’ he said.