By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€” THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, yesterday, accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of alleged refusal to releaseÂ N535.6 million excess crude funds to local government councils whose chairmen refused to decamp to Action Congress (AC).
The state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, who addressed newsmen yester-day, also alleged that N111 million was illegally deducted from allocations due to the local government councils without their consent.
But the state government, through the Special Adviser to the governor on Media, Mr Tony Iyare, described the allegations as untrue, saying the state government would never withhold funds meant for the councils, adding that all those who dumped the PDP for AC did so on their own volition and that the government would not succumb to blackmail from the PDP.
Orbih said â€œnever in the history of Edo State have we witnessed such a brazen, naked and unabashed show of shame as is being witnessed today in the state.
â€œDaily we witness threats, intimidation and blackmail to force people, particularly those with opposing political views from the governorâ€™s to do things they would ordinarily not have done.
â€œWe just want to sensitize our people to the draconian and Machiavellian governance we are saddled with in Edo State.Â What we have revealed today we are saddled with in Edo State.
â€œWhat we have revealed today are verifiable. Edo people are peace loving people. We cannot stand aloof to watch our dear state plunged into confusion and violence by the governor.â€
But the state government explained that â€œon the issue of excess crude, the governor asked them (LGs) to show the projects they want to embark upon before the money will be released. The era of throwing away money is over.
â€œHowever, this money has even been released to some councils being controlled by the PDP, such as Owan East, Etsako West, Ovia South. But AC-controlled councils like Ovia North East and others are yet to receive that money.
â€œSo the allegation that the money was only released to AC-controlled councils is a big lie and an attempt to rubbish the name of the governor.
â€œOn the issue of security, the Federal Government directed that we should assist the police in our states and that was what we did. We asked councils to help police their areas by acquiring Hilux vehicles so what are they saying?
â€œThis government believes in the rule of law and will not do any thing that will cause pains for our people. The PDP knows they are dead, so they just want to make noise so that people will think they still exist in Edo.â€