Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A former Minister of State for Works and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Chris Ogiewonyi, has called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to institute a probe into series of recent violent attacks on people’s homes in the state.
Ogiemwonyi, who is also a governorship aspirant for the September 19 gubernatorial election in the state, said the trend, if allowed to continue, would scare away investors from the state.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend in Benin City, Ogiemwonyi, who was the former Group Executive Director, Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), condemned the attacks and revealed that he was an advocate of state police but that since Wabaizighan, the state security outfit, attacked 14 lawmakers-elect in a hotel in Benin City, he has changed his mind.
According to him, “This is the first time we are using bombs in politics in Edo State. This is another aspect of terrorism, the attacks will scare away investors.”
He, therefore, called for the abolition of Wabaizighan, which he described as repressive and anti-people, whose operatives he said, were being paid with tax payers money.
The governorship aspirant said if elected governor, his first priority would be to address insecurity in the state by allocating more resources to that sector.
He listed other priority areas to include poverty eradication through provision of employment, preventive healthcare, mechanised agriculture, provision of social amenities to address rural-urban migration, provision of model schools with boarding facilities, upgrading of the solid minerals sector and bringing the physically challenged into government operations.
Ogiemwonyi disclosed that six aspirants on the platform of the APC have agreed to work together and to accept and support whoever emerges as candidate, adding that it was the performance of Oshiomhole as governor that made him to join APC.
“It is the performance of Oshiomhole that dragged me into APC. I took risk to leave the Peoples Demicratic Party (PDP) for APC in 2014. I took the risk because of Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole really transformed Edo State. I score him eight and half over 10 points in his performance.
“I see Oshiomhole as the best governor after Samuel Ogbemudia,” Ogiewonyi said, adding that “Governor Obaseki has the capacity to perform but he is taking on so many things, I score him low.”
On the recent government demolition of a hotel in Benin City owned by Tony Kabaka Adun, Ogiemwonyi described the incident as “an abomination in Benin land.”
“Adun and others helped to make Obaseki governor but because they now have a different view, his hotel was brought down,” he said.
Lending his voice on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Ogiemwonyi advised that the best way to properly address the matter is to give it to experts in the oil and gas industry to handle, urging governments at all levels to always appoint their ‘first eleven’ into positions.