Gov: Assembly Members Are Merchants of Mandate
*Alleges PDP Inducing lawmakers to defect
‘Now they have brought a lot of money from Abuja, paying Assembly members whom we campaigned for, marketing some of these people who are not known in their neighbourhood. They rode on my back to get to the House of Assembly. Some of them cannot walk on their streets, they collected, as I read in the papers, huge sums of money for them to decamp, to mortgage, to put on sale the mandate that you all, in your respective areas, gave them on the basis of their promise that they will work with me to deliver the state.’
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on Tuesday lost his cool when he labeled members of the state House of Assembly as “merchants of mandate” and also alleged that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state was inducing the lawmakers to defect from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to create confusion and chaos in the state.
He spoke when he received a group of youths under the aegis of Initiative for Youth Awareness, Migration, Immigration, Development and Integration on solidarity visit to the Government at the Government House, Benin City.
The Governor said: “I read through the newspaper that some of them are planning through corrupt means to change the popular mandate that was conferred on me by the good people of this state including your good selves.
“History will have it that for the first time, across Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North, in all the Local Governments and in all the wards, everybody voted overwhelmingly for my person
“Now they have brought a lot of money from Abuja, paying Assembly members whom we campaigned for, marketing some of these people who are not known in their neighbourhood. They rode on my back to get to the House of Assembly. Some of them cannot walk on their streets, they collected, as I read in the papers, huge sums of money for them to decamp, to mortgage, to put on sale the mandate that you all, in your respective areas, gave them on the basis of their promise that they will work with me to deliver the state.
“They have become merchants of mandates. And I hear they want to bring more money to buy more people. Let them bring, but the day the devil rises to say that he will dare what God has willed, they will increase the fire power in hell.”
He added: “When we have the government elected by the people, working for the people, applying resources for the people, Nigeria will change and make up for the deficit of the past.
“That was the promise. Unfortunately, those who grab power have chosen to mistake their personal welfare for the welfare of the masses. This government is pro-masses, this government is pro-people, this government is pro-youth and this government is pro-development.
“The bane of our politics is that those who never struggled for democracy, when people like us and several other Nigerians stood with the human rights groups, dared the guns to demand democracy because of its promise, they have taken over the political structure of our country, they were not only at home with the military dictators they were satisfied with collecting crumbs and aiding and abetting the criminal manipulations of our nation.
“Today, because of many years of criminal privatisation of the nation’s wealth, many years of people of tiny minds, confusing their personal well-being for the well-being of our people, the future of our country has been so recklessly mortgaged that young people see no hope that they now migrate through very dangerous routes out of the country.
“These people had the guts to say to me face to face, ‘yes you are building roads, are we going to feed on roads’? Yes, you are building hospitals, you are building schools, are these what we will eat you are changing the state, why not change us first.’ One day, Edo people will understand what the issues are.”
Oshiomhole assured his guests of his determination to be on the side of the people, to build more schools across the states and ensure that the will of the people is top priority in his government policies.
Speaking on the issue of employment, Oshiomhole said: “In continuation of our commitment to connect with our people, we will provide resources for the real farmers, not politician farmers. To support them to do what they live on.”
On the neighborhood watch, Oshiomhole said, “Why we dissolved it was that I discovered that a lot of our political leaders when they are to bring people, they bring their daughters and their sons. Even now that they claim to have left, they left their children in government but I have already told them if you didn’t remember to take your children, I will assist you to send your children back to you.
“And I discovered that some of them brought their children who are in Abuja to be doing neighbourhood watch in Edo. They live outside and claim to be watching the neighbourhood. That was why I dissolved the neighbourhood watch. Right now I have decided that rather than employ neighbourhood watchers through politicians, I will now do it through well-known youth organizations”, Oshiomhole said.
Earlier, the leader of the group, Mr. Solomon said they were in Government House to solidarise with the governor on his developmental strides.
He said, “we are moved by our conviction to appreciate you and to support you to continue your developmental strides in Edo State especially in the area of Youth and Human Development in Edo State.
He said, “We like to use this opportunity to address the area of unemployment in our state. We know that government cannot employ everybody in the state but there are areas in which government can make its impact especially in the area of agriculture. We also appeal to reconstitute the Neighborhood Watch where the various wards and Local Governments will be fully involved to check the spate of unemployment in the state.”