Wednesday December 02, 2020 2:00 AM

Obaseki’s govt using COVID-19 pandemic to loot Edo State treasury

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State chapter, has tackled Governor Godwin Obaseki on his disclosure that his administration has spent over N1 billion to curb COVID-19 in the state.

Expressing its displeasure on Monday in Benin, in a press statement by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, PDP asked Obaseki and other officials of his government to be more transparent, while attempting to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Edo governor, while briefing Government House correspondents, announced ten-day dusk-to-dawn curfew from Monday and he disclosed that the over N1 billion of his administration’s limited resources had already been spent to fight the deadly pandemic.

Reacting, PDP, said: “We reject the humongous figure (over N1 billion) already being bandied to have been spent. Edo PDP rejects the attempt by rogues in government circles to use the COVID-19 pandemic to fleece our treasury. Sunday’s COVID-19 speech of Obaseki is disappointing, curious and scandalous.

“We condemn the financial opacity surrounding the COVID-19 fight in Edo State, amid the disclosure by Obaseki that over N1billion has so far been expended and palliatives provided for over 50,000 vulnerable Edolites, despite the diversion of the palliatives.

“We are saddened that Obaseki again failed to show leadership and he displayed total lack of touch with reality, as he failed to address the issue of palliatives diversion. It is more painful that Edo governor could not address the immediate needs of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and their employees or provide a trajectory that will take care of their future, as the month of April draws to an end.”

The main opposition party also cautioned officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Edo government to stop using the deadly pandemic as a gateway to fleecing the state’s treasury.

Edo PDP noted that business owners in the state were already pondering on how they would meet their wage bill demands, without doing any business in the last three weeks, but with Obaseki not bothering about plans to subsidise, assist or intervene one way or another, for their companies not to go under.

It will be recalled that 15 persons have so far tested positive for coronavirus in Edo, with seven of them already discharged, while two deaths were recorded in the state.

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