The Edo state governorship debate was a straight contest between Godwin Obaseki, the incumbent and flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party and Osagie Ize Iyamu of the leading opposition party in Edo, All Progressive Congress.
The two-hour debate between the duos was replete with disagreements on critical issues that matter to the Edo people. This display ordinarily should be expected given the level of violence the state have experienced in the campaigns of the two candidates in recent times.
But for seeming agreement on the need for community policing and the importance of a refinery project, both candidates were on different page on a number of tangibles spanning job creation, debt profile, governance, qualification et cetera.
On economic agenda for the state after the election, Obaseki said Adams Oshiomhole, his predecessor in office borrowed recklessly and the FG had to restructure all the debts absolving himself of complicity. “The money had been taken before I came into office”.
According to him, the Federal Government restructured outstanding obligations to Edo State to the tune of almost N30 billion and that is what was responsible for adding to the debt stock not the borrowings from this administration.
And in his response, Ize-Iyamu said It is scandalous to attribute the huge debt to a predecessor that you were the Chief Economic Adviser to.
Sometimes you seem to forget the role you played in the past government.
In the agricultural sector, the loan that the governor has collected is staggering. The failed SUBE Project, two million went down the drain. The Agenegbode Rice Project, five billion went down the drain.
The oil-palm project, he collected N69 billion from the central bank and the money has been shared to cronies. No Edo person has benefitted from that money.
Again,the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu has faulted Governor Godwin Obaseki on his claim on job creation during the governorship debate on Sunday.
Governor Obaseki, while defending his performance in the area of human capital development said, “At the onset, I promised to create a minimum of 200,000 jobs within a four-year period. “Just before COVID-19, we had created both direct and indirect jobs for Edo people as much as 157,000 jobs.
Ize-Iyamu, reacting to this claim by Obaseki that his administration had created 157,000 jobs so far, accused the governor of getting his facts wrong. “I am sure he is not going to misplace the appointments he is making now as jobs,”
“I know in the past one month, he has appointed over 2,000 people as SSA s on social media and the rest of them.
“Those are not jobs. When you say you have created jobs, in what area? We know for example that there is a glaring vacancy in the teaching profession and every school we went to, they practically had no teacher,” he said.
Ize-Iyamu, who did not provide alternative figures to counter the governor’s jobs claim, said, “If it is true that we are able to have the number of jobs that the Edo State governor claims, our IGR will not be where it is. There will be a significant leap.”