Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has told a gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, that he is proud to call Alhaji Aliko Dangote his friend, while he (Ize-Iyamu) can’t boast of his friends and associates because some of them have been convicted for looting the state’s treasury.
Ize-Iyamu who was Secretary to State Government during the administration of Mr. Lucky Igbinedion as Governor of Edo State had in a press statement published in some newspapers said: “With Oshiomhole’s touted relationship with Dangote, it is just a few months to the end of his tenure that he could attract him to lay foundation stone for cement factory in Edo State.”
In a response to the statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, the governor said he was proud to associate himself with Dangote and proud to say that such friendship yielded a $1 billion investment in the state in the form of a brand new Okpella Cement factory which will offer close to 50,000 direct and indirect jobs to the people of the state.
According to Oshiomhole: “My friendship with Dr. David Ladipo yielded another $1 billion Azura Power Plant. My friendship with Captain Hosa Okunbo has yielded a $750 million Wells and Carlos Farms which is set to employ over 85,000 people.
“I’m proud to say that under my stewardship as governor, investors now find Edo State very attractive and they are coming down here in droves. Already, a Chinese Steel Company, Yongxing, is in full production and is already seeking ways to expand its operations; another Chinese Company, Time Ceramics Limited is also into full production and already into the second phase of expanding its operations.
Also, more Chinese companies are planning to set up their factories in different parts of the state, these are my friends, those are my records which I am proud of.
Now, there is a popular saying “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.”
“Who are Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s friends? It is on record that some of his best friends have been convicted of looting the state’s treasury.
“What are Ize-Iyamu’s records as SSG in Edo State? How many of his friends did he attract to invest in the state?None.
“Rather than bring in investors to the state, they siphoned the state money and established phoney companies: Ehor Juice factory, Cassavita Company, AVA Cement factory, all of which were designed to fail from the beginning and which they eventually sold to their cronies at give-away prices.
On the comment by Ize-Iyamu that a PDP government will commission the Okpella Cement factory, Oshiomhole asked: “Is the PDP still functional in Edo State? Is it not instructive that nobody finds the PDP attractive to jostle for that party’s gubernatorial ticket. As at the last count, the APC had over 13 aspirants, while the PDP had just four. That is reflective of the apathy, dissatisfaction, and resentment the people have towards that drowning party.”
Oshiomhole who stated that the PDP will never again reverse the development train of the APC government in Edo State, noted that another APC government will continue from where he stopped on November 12, 2016, and would commission the $1 billion Okpella Cement factory and many other industries which his friends have signified interest to establish in Edo State.