The Edo State Government has accused the Federal Government of wanting to gag the citizens and an elected Governor from speaking truth in the light of the current economic situation.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, in reaction to Governor Obaseki’s statement on fuel subsidy, advised him to focus on using available resources to drive impactful projects that genuinely uplift the lives of EdoState people rather than criticizing the economic policies of President Bola Tinubu.
The Governor had claimed that the country’s situation was taking a turn for the worse because of bad policies by the government.
“I am shocked that people who campaigned around the country, saying that they would remove subsidies, had no clear plans on what to do after subsidy removal. They don’t know what to do and how to support those who will be victims of subsidy removal.
“I am shocked and scared of what we are passing through today where the Government doesn’t seem to have a plan or solution on how to respond to the consequences of the policy measure put in place by their administration,” he said.
In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Osa Nehikhare, the State Government expressed its displeasure on the press statement by the Minister.
The statement read,“It is unfortunate and sad that the Federal Government now wants to gag citizens and even a popularly elected governor from speaking truth to power and expressing himself in the light of the perilous times we have fallen into.
“This action of the Minister is reminiscent of what happened in 2021 when Governor Obaseki raised the alarm over the irregular and illegal printing of money by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The claim that Governor Godwin Obaseki failed to attend the National Economic Council (NEC) meetings is blatantly false. The governor has attended all NEC meetings since the onset of this administration and records are there to prove this fact.
“Records of Edo State Government’s performance are also available for Nigerians to verify. Our reforms in the education sector, especially the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) program has been hailed globally; in the agriculture sector the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) Programme is currently one of Africa’s largest agricultural programs; our radical reforms in the civil and public service with the government’s e-government and capacity enhancement initiatives, as well as the development of a valid and effective Social Register, to mention but a few.
“The area where the Minister may be referring to as non-performance should be the condition of the extensive Federal Roads running through the state, which the Federal Government has abandoned and even prevented us from intervening to repair claiming that contracts for their repairs have been awarded.
“Isn’t it rather unfortunate that the Honourable Minister in his first outing has taken this untoward route when he ought to be reconciliatory and seek to synergize ideas and opinions on how best to carry the country along in these difficult and trying times that we have found ourselves?”
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