A coalition of Edo State indigenes in the diaspora has knocked outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki for signposting his political poster child and his illicit funds keeper, Mr Asue Ighodalo, as the next governor of state.
The group under the umbrella of Edo In Diaspora Solidarity Movement (EIDSOM), through their leadership, Dr James Osagie based in Napoli, Italy said Edo people are more sophisticated beyond Godwin Obaseki’s comprehension.
In a press statement made available to Trojan News Media, the President of the group chided the Governor who he claimed rode to power for his second term in office on the populist chant of “No Godfatherism”.
He said it would be anticlimax for the Governor to come through the backdoor to impose a governor on Edo people, a man who has been involved in warehousing stolen money through his Sterling Bank.
“Everyone knows that Mr Asue Ighodalo is the Managing Director/CEO of Sterling Bank. Sterling Bank, the Bank of Edo State Government, warehouses all the funds of the State Government. All the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies were mandatorily directed to move all their accounts from other banks to Sterling Bank at the start of Obaseki’s administration in 2016.
“We’re in possession of some of the official letters Obaseki’s Government wrote to all the Ministry, Departments other Agencies of Government at the time.
“Thereafter, there were strong arm twisting policies of the bank in relation to these MDAs.Mr Asue Ighodalo and his bank which are supposed to have a strong bank-customer relationship and leverage on the quantum of the deposit they have with the bank, the resulted to bullying government institutions and senior government officials.
“This is the tragic case with Sterling Bank in Edo State over the last seven years under Governor Obaseki’s administration. Mr Asue Ighodalo has a take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards these MDAs and, even at times, reneged on agreed terms of 5% interest on bank balances.
“It’s not for nothing that Sterling Bank currently sponsors Insurance Football Club of Benin and has been involved in every single project carried out by the state”, the press statement reads.
From the available statistics, Edo state has the highest MoU and PPP project, yet has one of the lowest FDI inflow in the country based on the CBN report.
But the government has telling Edo people “we are not spending our money for the refineries, seaport, etc, it is the private sector, but if we ask where is our money they would point to these things they claim are privately sponsored”.
It’s obvious when you link that, that we are not attracting foreign investors and that most of these fraudulent mega projects are being carried out by companies that had no prior history of capital projects that it is Edo money that has been recycled to come in as private investors.
Edo-Consultant-Sterling-Bank-Private-investor-PPP is the cycling of our state’s resources in disguise of Private sectors resources. That’s the reason Governor Godwin Obaseki want someone from this cycle to take over from him.
This is also buttresssed by our huge debt profile in nearly eight years from the DMO records. We’ve nearly tripled total state debt since 2000 in just his seven years tenure, yet no public infrastructure to show where it went. Internal debts have more than tripled while external debts have increased by 40%.
Where and how he spent this money can only be answered by him since by his own admission former Governor Adams Oshiomhole shared money and he has rightfully blocked that. Edo’s Internal Generated Revenue, IGR, has quadrupled under his watch and FG has given Edo State over N16 billion owed to his predecessor. Edo In Diaspora Solidarity Movement (EIDSOM) are asking, “where is our money?”.