The Edo state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that Governor Godwin Obaseki ‘gifted’ some journalists in the state with the sum of N10 million.
According to the party, immediate past governor of the state, “Adams Oshiomhole, approved the handsome sum of ten million Naira to be ‘dashed’ to a few members of NUJ before he left office”.
Chris Osa Nehikhare, State Publicity Secretary of the party, lamented that the funds taken from Edo state tax payers money, was given to a group of journalists purportedly referred to as ‘friends of Oshiomhole’.
The PDP further noted that “with the revelation of ‘bribery’ of a few (journalists) It is clear reportage may not have been balanced, fair and truthful”.
Nehikhare in a statement issued on Thursday, said, “NUJ is a body we hold in very high esteem. It reports on government activities as well as reactions to the actions and inactions of government. It’s supposed to give a balanced reportage of events in our society. But with the revelation of “bribery” of a few, It is clear reportage may not have been balanced, fair and truthful.
“To our utter surprise, and maybe in continuation of the unholy alliance that existed, Governor Obaseki, who has been pleading lack of funds to pay pensioners, fix roads, equip hospitals and generally run government, made this payment that has now thrown NUJ Edo State chapter into serious crisis.
“It is pertinent at this point to ask Governor Obaseki to reveal other illegal approvals that he met, the value of such approvals and beneficiaries of such approvals”.
He said that there is a need for Edo people to know how much has been misappropriated by the present government since it was sworn in because of loyalty, gratitude and fiduciary relations.
“Just a few weeks ago, the story broke of how Adams Oshiomhole gifted Edo State assets to friends, political cronies and family. It is alleged that over 346 different models of cars belonging to Edo State government are unaccounted for. Lands and buildings in choice areas in the state and other states are some of the assets of EDSG Adams Oshiomhole did “Father Christmas” with. However, many of these assets have been traced to him”, the party alleged.
The Edo PDP spokesperson narrated: “You will recall how Hon Ativie brought EDHA to ridicule in the Jeepsgate scandal. Just as Adams Oshiomhole did in that ongoing scandal, Adams Oshiomhole is once again trying to redefine the purpose for which the money to his ” hatchet men” in the press were gifted such a huge, unbudgeted and appropriated amount.
“What we are seeing and hearing now concerning Adams Oshiomhole’s inglorious years as Governor of Edo State is a tip of the iceberg. You will recall that Edo PDP described EDSG under Adams Oshiomhole as a cesspool of corruption.
“We condemn in very serious terms the attitude of the the Godwin Obaseki led government in playing the ostrich that has buried its head in the sand in the midst of these revelations.
“Gov Godwin Obaseki must begin to reverse all these corrupt acquisitions of government assets, demand for the return of those vehicles and refund of cash “gifts” to friends and cronies!
“A precedent has been set at the federal level where many people have been asked to return money given to them by the immediate past federal government and many are doing just that.
“Edo people deserve more. Edo people deserve better!”, he declared.
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