Absence of Cabinet, Non-Passage of Anti-Grazing Bill in Edo, Worries PDP Chieftain

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*Charles Idahosa

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Mr. Charles Idahosa, has described as worrisome the none constitution of cabinet by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

He also expressed surprise that the state governor has refused to put modalities in place for the passage of the anti-open grazing bill.

Idahosa, a former Political Adviser to ex-governor Adams Oshiomhole, and now chieftain of the PDP, who stated this in Benin City yesterday while fielding questions from journalists ahead of his 68th birthday which comes up on September 21, further lamented the frustration of former APC members who defected to the PDP with Obaseki, but have been left in the lurch.

According to him, “I am worried that there will be no cabinet after close to one year. We are not happy, I must make that clear to you.”

Although Idahosa commended Obaseki’s performance in office through numerous achievements, he nevertheless reiterated his worry over his delay in constituting a cabinet.

He also pointed out that though the constitution did not give the president or governors time frame to constitute a cabinet, there ought to have been a cabinet in place by now in the state.

On anti-open grazing, he declare: “I am not comfortable with Edo State not passing the Anti-Open Grazing Bill as agreed by the Southern Governors’ Forum at Asaba in Delta State, noting that it is Obaseki’s Government and that the day of report card would come.”

Idahosa described the PDP crisis as unfortunate, saying if not arrested, it would affect the party’s fortune in the 2023 general elections.

“We are really at a crossroads. All of us who left the APC with Obaseki to PDP, we don’t know where we are. So, we are just watching.

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“We didn’t cross the Ts and dot the Is before joining because the time was so short. There was no proper negotiation,‎” he explained.

On insecurity, the PDP chieftain noted that the pervading insecurity in the country has eclipsed the good achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari‎ administration in infrastructures‎, especially in the development of rail and road construction.

He said Buhari has made some remarkable achievements in some sectors of the nation’s economy and should not be judged based on insecurity alone.

“Nigerians will not be fair to this administration if judged based on insecurity. Buhari as far as am concerned may not be the best, but a lot of things have happened since he came. But he is being judged based on insecurity.

“I know what he has put into the Nigeria railway and what he has been doing. The Nigeria railway has improved, he has tried in that sector.

“He has tried other infrastructure like roads and some others. But insecurity is just overshadowing all the good things that he is doing.

“We also have to understand that COVID-19 pandemic affected the whole world economy, not only in Nigeria.

“It is not what we expect at 100 per cent, nobody can achieve 100 per cent. But I think he is doing well. Nigeria is a very difficult country to manage. The country is going through a very hard time, there is no doubt about that,” Idahosa added.

Commenting on fiscal federalism, Idahosa who defected along with Obaseki from the APC to the PDP, said restructuring of the country has started with the court ruling on VAT, stressing “let’s test the constitution.”

Idahosa predicted that the North would still produce the next President because it has the population and speaks with one voice contrary to the South which he said, lacked unity.

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According to him, after Chief Obafemi Awolowo, there has not been a leader in this country in terms of vision.

Idahosa also gave reasons why he was angry with Oshiomhole, his former boss, saying that he contributed to his emergence as national chairman of the APC and that the mistake that led to his removal from office would have been avoided if he was there to advise him.

He said he was particularly angry with O‎shiomhole because he allegedly leaked what he told him on phone while going abroad for medical check-up to Mr. Henry Idahagbon, who went to the media to claim that he (Idahosa) was faking illness and demanding money from Oshiomhole.

“If I see Oshiomhole today I won’t greet him, I won’t talk to him because he let me down. I have forgiven him but I will not forget,” Idahosa said, describing his former boss as a good man, stressing that reconciliation would be difficult unless Oshiomhole first initiates it.

Speaking on the issue of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Idahosa said they agitators have only succeeded in crippling the economy of the South-east states.

According to him, “It is not IPOB that the people are supporting, they are just afraid of the destruction of their properties or being killed, not that they believe in IPOB.

“Nnamdi Kanu was not born during the Nigeria civil war, so he does not know what is called war.

“I saw war because I was between 15 to 16 years during the civil war, I know what war is. You can’t see any person of my age group calling for war.”

(THISDAY)

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