All Progressives Congress candidate for the September 19 gubernatorial election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has questioned the wisdom and frugality of the decisions made by Governor Godwin Obaseki during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This was during a BBC virtual interview, which the governor attended before hurriedly leaving after the first question was asked him.
Asked about the state’s economy, Ize-Iyamu noted, “We must talk about diversification. We must look beyond federal allocation. The time has come for Edo to generate it’s own revenue, as the different regions did in Nigeria’s history. COVID-19 did not affect farming, but the government didn’t invest in farming. You need to invest properly in agriculture to reap from it, even during periods like this. People had to look for rice outside Edo State.”
Additionally, he said the government failed to prioritise COVID-19 funds. “I was shocked that it was during COVID-19 that our governor went to destroy the State House of Assembly claiming that he wants to build a new one. This expense was not in the state budget; it wasn’t even in the revised budget. In the thick of rainy season you went to remove the roof. Was that a priority? Where he should have thought of increasing access to healthcare and providing intervention funds and materials to people, he busied himself with the House of Assembly roof.”
The gubernatorial candidate expressed surprise, taking care to mention that the governor is his brother and he had profound respect for him, but that the pressure of governance may be getting to the governor. He added that the welfare of doctors should have also been prioritised and that the governor made a bad call in moving market activities to the schools to commence trading, as this could endanger the children and the school environment.
Ruing the lack of time for him to express all his ideas, he noted that he had always wanted the governor to succeed but that the governor has run out of time and he feels that his an APC government under him could serve the people better.