By Simon Ebegbulem
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole has said it took seven years to probe former Governor Lucky Igbinedion administration because he knew former PDP-led Federal Government lacked the moral and political will to fight corruption.
Speaking at a colloquim organised by the state government to interact with the people of Edo State on the topic: “The Edo Project: Defining the Issues and addressing the Challenges-Post 2016”, as part of activities to mark his seventh anniversary in office, Oshiomhole said “there were things I could not do under PDP”.
He added: “People asked me, ‘why didn’t you speak all these years?’. If I say it, what difference would it have made? Now I can talk because I know that the man there, if I can provide evidence, he will act. There was no point reporting a thief to an armed robber.”
Speakers at the colloquim include Dr Pius Odubu, Deputy Governor; Mr Osarodion Ogie, Commissioner for Works; Prince Clem Agba, Commissioner for Environment and Public Utilities; Mr Godwin Obaseki, Chiarman, Edo State Economic Team; Mr Frank Evbuomwan, Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development; Dr Aihanuwa Eregie, Commissioner for Health; Dr Osagie Obayuwana,former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Edo State and Mr Austin Osakwe, human rights activist. It was moderated by Mr Femi Falana, SAN.
According to the governor, the PDP Federal Government acted with a lot of impunity at that time, saying, “a Commissioner of Police came to my office a few years ago and brought an instruction from Abuja that I should be stopped from intruding into the Ovoranwnem Square, that I was vandalizing Federal Government property and violating federal territories.
“Given the new balance of forces in Abuja, I have directed that they resume rebuilding the water fountain and to re-grass it and I also said that that place should not be turned to a car park. Until we got rid of the PDP, anybody I sent to carry out such task did so at great risk to their freedom.”
Speaking on the Land Use Charge law, the governor said: “I am not going to waste my precious time dealing with the opposition. We are ready to engage with real civil societies. They have a signature House in Abuja and they know what they pay there. They have a house in Bishop Avenue in London occupying 1,300 square meters, whether the one owned by the father or the son, they have properties in South Africa and they pay land use charge for those properties whether they live there or not”.