Why PDP Should Field Iduoriyekemwen Matthew Aigbuhuenze (MAI) As Its ‪#‎Edo2016‬ Guber Candidate

Mr. Adams Oshiomhole
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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State

It will be recalled that when Governor Adams Oshiomhole came to power back in November 2008, he announced that the state had been brutally plunged into huge financial debt by the 18 months administration of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor. But that debt then was a paltry sum of N4 billion compared to the over N200 billion he is leaving behind for the state after his tenure. Governor Oshiomhole’s government, it must be mentioned, attracted a lot of goodwill at the inception due to alleged unforgettable maladministration of Lucky Igbinedion and because of the long legal battle he fought to reclaim his mandate freely given him in 2007 by the good people of Edo State. That goodwill may have accounted for the World Bank and other donor agencies’ contributions to the developmental agenda of his administration.
It is worthy of note that those who live in glass houses must not throw stones which is why as an Edolite, I am very much interested in who becomes the next governor of Edo state.
A look at all the candidates in #Edo2016 race:
APC Candidates:
Chris Ogiemwonyi, PDP, ACN
Pius Odubu,Deputy Gov (ACN)
Kenneth Imansuagbon, PDP, APC
Godwin Obasek, APC
Oserheimen Osunbo, PDP, APC
Charles Airhiavbere, PDP, APC
PDP Guber Aspirants;
Osaro Onaiwu, PDP
Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former SSG to Lucky Igbinedion, PDP, ACN, APC, PDP
Solomon Edebiri, ANPP, PDP
Matthew Iduoriyekemwen (@MeetMaiJP) #Edo2016
Worthy of note is Adviser Shedrach Nowamagbe a popular local Benin musician who is also in the #Edo2016 Guber race (UPP). Having studied profiles of all the above listed #Edo2016 aspirants, Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen (@MeetMaiJP) popularly called Major (former Majority Leader of Edo State House of Assembly where he served as Member between May 29, 1999 and May 29, 2007) is someone whose sterling qualities of character, leadership, uncommon selfless service and result-oriented governance in the development of his immediate and external communities has endeared me to cast sentiments and party affiliations aside and come to terms with realities as I call on many Edolites both home and away in Diaspora to push for his candidature given that he has never contemplated decamping to other political parties even when he lost 2012 PDP primaries.
Oshiomhole (who has spent the worst part of his second term on Maoist one-party ideology that focuses on power retention) is asking Edo people to tighten their belts because of the dwindling fortunes of the state, he (Oshiomhole) is loosening his by appropriating a whooping sum of N10.65 billion to his office. From this budget, there is no way employment can be generated for the teeming youths as the critical agencies that could generate employment such as agriculture, commerce and industry are allocated paltry sums, moreso when the state has to cough out over N1 billion monthly to service its debt.
The 10,000 youths employed some years ago in the Edo state youth empowerment scheme (YES) were sacked after being used for his re-election. Under Oshiomhole’s watch, local governments are brought to their knees as successive chairmen can no longer pay their workers, necessitating the alleged forfeiture of their security votes monthly while Oshiomhole collects much more for urgent security challenges in excess of almost N50m monthly. Huge debts are being piled up for unborn generation of Edolites due to his financial recklessness and poor planning through poorly conceived projects without transparency and due process. It is instructive to know that Oshiomhole, who promised to put an end to the suffering of the people over the years, has himself inflicted more hardship on them through his unpopular policies. For instance, the increase in school fees in the state tertiary institutions, the land use charge, huge personal income tax and various taxes that have driven most small scale businesses underground.
Though Oshiomhole knows the importance of education to the development of the state, his recent increase in school fees is seen as chasing out the children of the poor. His allocation of a whooping N14 billion to the education sector, one would have thought would ameliorate the suffering of the students and their parents, but the reverse seems the case.
According to verifiable information from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Edo state local Council received N1,217,148,336,65 (gross statutory allocation) and a net allocation of N1, 655,710,228.36 in the revenue allocation for the month of November shared in December 2015. But the local councils could not meet their contractual obligations to the workers. In the same vein, the state received a gross revenue allocation of N1, 744, 728, 505.82 and a net allocation N1, 421, 203, 606.24 bringing the state’s share to N3, 185, 229, 510.36 (total gross amount) and N2, 142, 046, 560 (total net amount) for the month of November shared in December, 2015.
Out of this figure, the Edo State government paid out N30, 994, 228.04 for the external debt servicing , N520, 000, 000.00 as contractual obligation deduction and N492,188,722.17 as other deductions totaling #1,043,182,950.21. This shows that over 40% of the statutory allocation goes into debt servicing due to Gov Oshiomhole’s poor financial management. Worried by the huge debt profile of the state, it is very glaring that Oshiomhole has mortgaged the future of so many Edolites with very few tangible projects inspite of the huge accumulated debt.
Edo state is committing over 40 per cent of its statutory allocation into financing the governor’s spending which is unhealthy to the financial stability of the state with virtually non existent revenue generating industries. Governor Oshomhole has allegedly spent nearly eight years supporting and maintaining institutions and structures of repression in Abuja and as well as funding political vengeance, alleged electoral fraud by not conducting local council elections till date as a former Union Leader, allegedly siphoning funds to Cape Verde to fund an 11 aircraft for an airline called Forte Adams Luxury Airline.
The underdevelopment of Edo state compared to is counterparts in the South-South states is as a result of alleged poor planning, mismanagement and insufficient investment in capital projects and infrastructures by an APC Oshiomhole-led government that prioritises the enrichment of apologists, sponsorship of propaganda to the detriment of socio-economic development that should have met the visions of a modern, efficient infrastructural base which its ex-governors Osaigbovo Ogbemudia and Prof. Ambrose Alli master-planned which is why Oshiomhole should not be allowed to foist a stooge in the person of Godwin Obaseki who is also his Economic Team Chairman, having fallen out with his Deputy: Pius Odubu, on Edo state going forward having battled with The Anenihs and Igbinedions in the past of whom were the albatross to the PDP brand in Edo state.
Nothing could be more ironical than a man who dons the garb of a labour activist – a mirage of the fire-breathing Oshiomhole we used to know and superintended the dehumanisation and repression of a “Poor widow to Go and Die.” Always costumed to identify with the working class but the truth is, he is far from the universe where the poor exists.
Matthew Aigbuhuenze Iduoriyekemwen (MAI) from his antecedents as a former Research Supervisor, Tuber Roots Improvement Programme of the Federal Government (TRIPFG), former Edo State Representative on the Board of NDDC, Edo State Co-ordinator, Yar’dua/Jonathan Campaign Organization, 2005 is someone who is committed to the overall development of his community as a respected grass-roots player, Leader, a tactician, a youth development agent, a strategist and a social advocate who bears the burden of the people upon himself. He remains a major force to reckon with in the overall politics and development of Edo State which is why the PDP delegates especially must shun sentiments and unite to pick him as their standard bearer to restore, revitalise, develop and modernise Edo state which used to be an Agro-based economy known for its cocoa, palm oil, groundnut, cotton, citrus fruits, plantain, coco yams, yams, rice etc.
There is no denying the fact that agricultural infrastructure is critical to our economic development and a clue to the unemployment problem in Edo state but the lack of agricultural finance has contributed to the decimation of agro-based infrastructure which is why the state needs a vibrant saving culture, ICT-driven public revenue collection, retention and international finance partnership. We are in a federation and Edo State as the Heartbeat of Nigeria under a competent and visionary leader of firm character at the Denis Osadebey Avenue can grow at its own pace by supplementing federal allocation to the state with internally generated revenue to provide service infrastructure for its people. With ‪#‎MAI‬‬ ‪#‎AGreaterEdoisPossible‬‬.
God Bless Edo State
Oba Gha to Kpe re…
Eghomwanre David Oghogho is an Abuja based Social Critic and Public Commentator.

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