The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Edo Governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has said he has no plan to return the loosely organized gangs commonly known as ‘AGBEROS’ to the streets of Edo State, clarifying that he instead intends to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society as useful and responsible participants if elected as the next Governor of Edo State.
In a statement released on Monday by his Campaign Organization, Ize-Iyamu attributed the false report of his purported plan to return the gangs back to the state to terrorize residents as a deliberate falsehood manufactured and spread by the opposition to deceive the electorates and conceal the hypocrisy and alleged fraud of the incumbent Governor Obaseki.
He says Governor Godwin Obaseki continues to obtain tax with questionable and non-state actors such as Chief Odion Olaye, Austin Edosomwan, who was the former Vice to Comrade Tony Kabaka, Kelly Okungbowa (aka Ebo Stone), and many others despite awarding a corrupt contract to his personal firm, VIISAUS, to claim nearly 10% of all collected taxes.
Ize-Iyamu said while Obaseki has merely entrusted power to his own brand of loyal thugs who continue to fleece the state and terrorize the people, he would bring the problem to a conclusive end with a transitional program contained in the Manpower Development section of his SIMPLE agenda meant to rehabilitate and empower the agberos before their re-integration into the society to live responsibly and make useful contributions.
The statement read: “It is important to state categorically that there are no plans to bring “Agberos” to the state as being erroneously peddled by the opposition and their co-travelers.”
“Unlike the incumbent who merely politicized the situation and compounded it with his reckless actions that reflect the scattershot approach and unpreparedness of his administration to offer conclusive solutions to the problems confronting Edo State, our manifesto, the SIMPLE agenda has already captured and proffered solutions to the ‘Agbero’ situation, specifically under the ‘M’ which stands for Manpower Development and Training.”
“The government of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will not force all the actors or people referred to as ‘Agberos’ on self-exile to Libya or the Mediterranean Sea to die as they remain sons and daughters of Edo State. Instead, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will institute a transitional and rehabilitation program for the training and empowerment of these actors to help them become self-sustaining entrepreneurs in a chosen field to help them useful to themselves and the society at large.”
“Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu will also take the actors through a re-orientation process that will make their future operations, if any, conform with current global best standards and practices in the revenue collector sectors.”
“These are practical plans that will bring this problem to an end. It is not enough to merely replace a set of collectors with another set as the incumbent government has lazily done, despite embarking on a campaign of deceit to blur the facts.”
“Edo people should ask the government of Governor Godwin Obaseki the roles and job functions of the following individuals and their companies in the revenue collection process at the state and local government level: Chief Odion Olaye (Olaye International Nigeria Ltd.), Pastor Sunny Erhahon (A.E Contractors Ltd.), Austin Edosomwan (former Vice to Comrade Tony Kabaka), Kelly Okungbowa (aka Ebo Stone), S.I. Ofeimu (Uniworld Integrated Service), Charles Momoh (Smart Jeff Nigeria Ltd.), Samuel Kelvin Ayo (Saeppin Nigeria Ltd.), Afigie Ogene (Baskyuy Nigeria Ltd.), Dirisu Shuabi O. (Schevshenco & Dad Ent Ltd.) and host of others who are all engaged in the so-called ‘Agbero’ or revenue collection in the state.”
“The real truth, which Governor Godwin Obaseki is trying to shield from the public knowledge, is that he had used the word ‘Agberos’ to blackmail Edo people while introducing his personal private company called VIISAUS that now collects a whooping percentage of 7% as service provider and 2.5% as technical partner on all total revenue collection of both Edo State Government and all the local government revenue collection in the state.”
“This runs into millions of naira every month outside the other charges for scratch cards and POS maintenance cost drawn by the Lagos companies.”