The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to name the projects he and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have executive for the benefit of the people of the state since he assumed office.
The governor also vowed that his party, the All progressives Congress, APC, would defeat Mr. Jonathan in his home state, Bayelsa, and other states controlled by the PDP in the South-South geo-political zones. The states are Delta, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
Mr. Oshimhole spoke on Wednesday at a ceremony held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, to mark his sixth year anniversary in office.
The governor assumed office on November 12, 2008, following his victory over former governor, Oserheimen Osunbor, at the Court of Appeal.
The court had ruled that Mr. Oshiomhole was the authentic winner of the 2007 governorship election in the state.
The governor said Mr. Jonathan administration had done nothing for the state and that the president only came to commission a resurfaced existing Ofosu-Benin axis of an expressway, which was constructed by a past military regime.
“What is the Scorecard of the PDP in Edo State and in Nigeria? The PDP has commissioned the resurfacing of Ofosu to Benin Road in a period of 16 years. That is all PDP has to show in Edo State for over a period of 16 years,” the governor said.
“The PDP Federal Government controls 52.8 % of declared federal collections and Edo State share of that 52.8 % and all they have to show in 16 years is the resurfacing of Ofosu-Benin old carriage way.
“My challenge to my opponents in whatever name they are called, people who spent 10 years in Edo deceiving people, we have shown that they wasted our 10 years but we were not deterred by their failure but rather inspired by the opportunity that we have to reposition Edo State.”
He said when in September Mr. Jonathan came to the state for the South-South rally of the PDP, he was reported as saying that it would fall to the party.
Mr. Oshiomhole said, “Let me ask you – can Edo State fall? Can the President fall any of you? He even went on to say that Rivers Stage will fall to PDP. I need you to mark the word ‘fall’ and when you go back home, take your dictionary and look at the ordinary and special meaning of the word ‘fall’”.
“To fall is to collapse, to fall is to speak in the language of Soldiers. When they have used the force of firearms to overcome their enemies and they capture them with the aid of guns after killing many, they can say that the territory has fallen
“So is the President going to use the armed forces to fall the people of Edo State? I want to put him on notice that Edo State is not an enemy territory to be felled by Armed Forces and the Commander-in-Chief must not target Edo for falling. Edo will stand and march on.
“On the contrary, APC will defeat the President in Bayelsa State, APC will defeat PDP in Rivers State, and APC will defeat PDP in Cross River State. APC will defeat PDP in Delta State, APC will continue to bury and bury PDP in Edo State.
Mr. Oshiomhole said he made it a point of duty to reposition Benin City, the state capital, deal with the crisis of flooding, not on the basis of random approach, but by taking a holistic view of the flooding problem and applying searchable solutions that are informed by scientific mandate.
He challenged the leaders and members of the PDP at all levels to come out and refute all that he said he done.
He vowed that never again will the people of the state “be buffeted by people who remember us once in four years when they bring a version of the stolen money to buy guns and distribute to young men to kill people.”
The governor further stated, “We have moved away from the politics of sharing salt, banana and sugar cane at the eve of election. Today, the Edo woman understands that providing school for her child is better than giving her a bag of salt once in four years.”
He noted that as long as the PDP had power, Nigerians would never have adequate power supply.
He told the cheering crowd that “even as we speak, this stadium is being powered by generator”.
Mr. Oshiomhole alleged that in the name privatization of electricity distribution companies, the Federal Government handed over power to people who know next to nothing about electricity and power generation.
The governor said the president’s Sure-P programme “is simply a sure fraud where huge sums of money is handed to an individual to disburse at will, without record.”
According to him, the war against corruption by the current government at the federal level could be likened to a gun that fires shots without casualties.
Also speaking, the National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, lamented the security situation in the country and wondered how Mubi, the home town of the nation’s Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, was overrun by insurgents without resistance.
He said the states in the South-South zone under the control of the PDP would be taken over by the APC besides controlling the next federal administration.
Mr. Oyegun, who is also an indigene of Edo State and its former governor, however, said “There is work to be done. Let us not underestimate them because there is nothing as dangerous as underestimating a dying lion. It is time for rolling over.
“Your party is prepared to meet them blow for blow in whatever department they want. But please also be prepared because that is also what we have discovered that when they lose they don’t plan to go away quietly. We must be prepared to the very end to ensure that the APC candidate that will emerge on 8 December is sworn into office. I want to tell you APC will be the best government of this nation Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the event, a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu said the APC would sweep Mr. Jonathan out of office if he refuses to go.
“You refuse to go, we will sweep you away,” Mr. Tinubu said, stressing that the APC would prove to the PDP that the power of the people is greater than the barrel of the gun.
Mr. Tinubu accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of being an arm of the PDP, saying “INEC and PDP are Siamese twins, but APC will separate them.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, urged Nigerians to shun politics of ethnic and religious sentiments in the 2015 general elections and vote for candidates capable of bringing desired changes to the country.
Among those at the event were former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.