The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, David Imuse, on Sunday asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to resign from office.
Mr Imuse, a retired army colonel, alleged that Mr Obaseki has run out of ideas on how to govern the state especially in the light of rising insecurity and debt profile in the state.
Mr Obaseki could not react as his phone number rang out when PREMIUM TIMES called.
The governor has not appointed a Chief Press Secretary since his inauguration for a second term on November 12.
The governor’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has, however, reacted to the allegations.
PREMIUM TIMES has reported how the state experienced a spike in violence and crime rate weeks after two jail breaks occurred in the state in the aftermath of the protests against police brutality across Nigeria weeks earlier.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES in Benin City, the APC interim chairman said the call became imperative because the government has failed to protect the lives of the Edo people.
He also alleged that Mr Obaseki has shown disregard for the rule of law, adding that his interest was clashing with his official interest.
In a reaction, Chris Nehikhare, PDP chairman in the state, lambasted the APC for making spurious claims.
Mr Nehikhare, in a counter-statement, said the APC, from where the governor defected before his second term victory, has resorted to a wild goose chase to oust Mr Obaseki.
Mr Imuse listed the governor’s failure to uphold his oath of office to protect the lives and properties of Edo citizens, his penchant for disobeying court orders, and his decision to plunge Edo State into more indebtedness with his recent ‘clandestine’ borrowing of N25 billion from the capital market as the reasons for his resignation.
“No one is safe in Edo. The state is under siege. We have a governor who has lost focus. Fear and insecurity have become the order of the day, yet the governor takes N700 million monthly as security vote. And so far he has not been able to deploy this huge amount to mobilise the security agencies in the state to fight criminality.”
Mr Imuse alleged that Edo State has a governor who does not have respect for the judicial and legislative arms of government or the rule of law.
“A court recently ruled that the duly elected chairman of Etsako East Local Government Council who was illegally removed from office should go back to his seat. But the Governor, in disobedience of the Court, mobilised thugs to seal up the entrance of the Council Secretariat at Agenebode, denying the Chairman access,” he stated.
Mr Imuse also blamed Mr Obaseki for making Edo “the third most indebted state in the country”.
He wondered why Mr Obaseki would ‘clandestinely’ resort to borrowing N25 billion from the capital market without telling the Edo people.
The PDP, via Mr Nehikhare, has reacted.
“The APC is still reeling from the pains inflicted on them in their disgraceful outing in the last governorship election in Edo State. They are looking for all other avenues to overturn the will of Edo people, who rejected them outrightly at the polls and embraced the Governor and his policies by handing him a landslide victory and a second term mandate.”
He said Mr Imuse, “who parades himself as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Edo, is still battling for legitimacy, he is finding it difficult to settle into the rather awkward role of playing the opposition, which the APC has not played in the state for the past 12 years.”
He described as incorrect Mr Imuse’s allegation that Mr Obaseki secretly obtained a N25 billion loan without the knowledge of the Edo people.
“This is incorrect. The N25 billion loan Imuse talked about was a developmental loan secured by the state government to develop and revitalise critical infrastructure. The Edo State House of Assembly, which represents the Edo people also approved the loan months ago.
“As for the complaint about the situation in Etsako West Local Government Area, the state government is exercising its constitutional right for an appeal and has, along that line, filed for an appeal. It has also filed for a Stay of Execution on that judgement. Therefore, the status quo remains and only the court can make a pronouncement on the matter and not the APC,” Mr Nehikhare added.
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