Buhari Lauds Gov Oshiomole, Commissions Projects in Edo

Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

Presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC,  Muhammadu Buhari,  has commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for the developmental strides achieved by his administration during his tenure.

Buhari hailed the governor Saturday when he commissioned the newly reconstructed six lane Airport Road and the remodelled Imaguero College in Benin City which has 18 blocks of a total of 104 classrooms, a large school hall, a chapel, staff rooms, an ICT centre and other standard conveniences.

Expressing joy at the governor’s achivements, Buhari said, “Let me express my appreciation to the governor for the great work he has done in this state and also to express my delight and congratulate the people of Edo State for the massive support given to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.”

“I am very grateful and I appreciate your success. Ensuring infrastructural development and putting the people first in all your policies, will immortalize you in the minds of the people of Edo State. I congratulate you for your ideas.”

The APC presidential aspirant also thanked the Oba of Benin, Omonoba Erediauwa, for the support he has given to the administration of Oshiomhole so far, stating that the royal father’s support was greatly instrumental to the governor’s achievements in the state.

At the commissioning of the road, Oshiomhole described it as the flagship of his projects.

“Looking at all the projects we have in the state, the Airport Road is the flagship. The Oba of Benin was the person who intervened by writing a letter to the then Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon, Zakawanu Garuba; this was the period when the PDP dominated the House by two-thirds.

“The House majority had bluntly refused the budgetary allocation that provided for the construction of this road along with other roads construction in Benin City. This road was part of the budget that the leader of PDP who is currently the Chairman of their Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih directed me to bring down to Abuja.

“I was asked to take the budget up to his sitting room and the then Speaker of the House was seated along with other principal officers of the House and I was asked to go through the budget page by page.

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Oshiomhole stated, “Anenih queried my decision to devote so much resource to Benin roads. I thought it was an honest question and I attempted an honest reply. I answered ‘Sir, given the resource profile of Edo State and all that we need to do, I am convinced that if we are going to make progress with our lean resources, we do not want to spread our resources so thinly everywhere such that we make no impact anywhere.”

“Given the crisis in Benin in terms of erosion, we needed to make huge investments on Benin roads and drainage but he disagreed, saying, ‘No, reduce the budget on all the roads in Benin City by 50% and redistribute it into recurrent expenditure.”

“Even though our budget was designed to achieve a ratio of 65 for capital and 35% for recurrent, chief revised the budget in favour of recurrent and by the time he was done, what was left for reconstruction of the Airport road was not enough to mobilise contractors to site. In other words, the intervention was meant not to construct the Airport Road along with all other roads in Benin City”.

“In time, the ratio of the House changed and APC produced the leadership of the House. We then subsequently re-ordered our budget to reflect the priority of Edo State and this road became one of those flagship projects.”

At the commissioning of the Imaguero College, Buhari again commended Oshiomhole for his red roof revolution and charged the staff and management of the school to maximize the use the facilities provided.

In his response, Oshiomhole thanked Buhari for honouring his invitation to commission the project and expressed joy that the school had been revamped from its former state.

“I saw the dilapidated buildings when I first came here. There were no roofs, there were potholes in the classrooms and yet our children were compelled to sit in those classrooms. Education in Edo State had virtually collapsed because the school had almost collapsed and the teachers had not been paid for an upward of three to four months,” he recalled.

Thumping his chest, Oshiomole said that he had breathed new life into the educational system in the state, noting that “the Edo Child in public schools enjoys free education from the primary to senior secondary school. We provide free bus rides to all Edo School Child, whether in public or private school as long as they are on school uniform.”

The governor affirmed that Nigeria can and will change for good come 2015 if a trusted and tested personality like Muhammadu Buhari is given the responsibility of governing the country.




     

     

    The Esogban of Benin, David Edebiri, who represented the Oba of Benin at the projects commissioning, regretted the devastation that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party had brought to the state in the past.

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    “Though we are not active politician, we are not unaware of the good things and we want to assure you that your administration will continue to enjoy our support,” the chief stated.

    He also advised politicians to avoid the politics of bitterness and play the game according to the rules, so as to preserve peace in the polity.

    Also present at the event were former national chairman of the PDP, Audu Ogbeh, APC Chairman in Edo State, Anselm Ojezua, APC gubernatorial aspirant in Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, and several other dignitaries.

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