GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, described as laughable, claims by some commissioners who were sacked by his administration, that they were being victimized due to their perceived support for the governorship ambition of the deputy governor of the state, Dr Pius Odubu.
Oshiomhole said that they were sacked for alleged betrayal of trust, which he described as sad, adding that rather than make public apologies, they have been carrying advertorials to rubbish his person.
He spoke while swearing in the new Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kaseem Afegbua and the member representing Orhiomwon Local Government Area on the board of the Oil and Gas Commission, Mr Sunday Iyamu.
He said: “Even people who were involved in some offences, investigated and confirmed even by the deputy governor, when we removed them from office, instead of hiding their heads in shame, sponsored write ups that they were fired because they were supporting the deputy governor.
“Let me say publicly, when I read some stories, people say anybody who last lost his job in government as a Commissioner or as anything, I am told he has lost his job through sponsored writers because he holds a different political opinion.
“People don’t know me, I have managed the most diverse, non-governmental, mass based, mass driven, mass financed organization in the black world called the Nigeria Labour Congress.
There is no organization with more members who actually paid to become members, not in political party where members come to collect. I have appetite for contestation, I enjoy it and I believe it is necessary in a democracy. It is what distinguished people from slaves.
“Your appointment for those who know you know it is not a reward for sycophancy. I can say publicly and it is not in a derogatory sense, if there is one stubborn person, stubborn in his views, it will be Kassim.
Now I have to say this because even people who were involved in some petty criminal offences, committed by them, investigated and confirmed even by the Deputy Governor, when we relieve them of their portfolios as Commissioners, when they should hide their head in shame, they sponsor stories that they have been fired because they were supporting the Deputy Governor.
“That is the kind of world we are ion. When people have done things that earn them what it has earn them, they find escape routes, if not in political explanation, they take escape route in religion or in ethnicity.
Kassim and I have come a very long way. I have known him before showed interest in politics and we have had robust engagements and I believe he has the gift of intellect, he is resourceful, he has the power of the pen with which he can demolish [political giants to political vegetables and he is assuming offence at a very critical time in the politics of our state but he is not a stranger to any of this.
“He has been with me for a very long time so he understands me, in and out and I believe I have a little understanding of him.
So I congratulate you. You are assuming office at a difficult time, but difficult time are meant for people with heart. Difficult time in terms of the economy, revenue accruing to us have drop to one third of what it used to be and it is not a secret.
If our main a source of revenue was the oil and it was averaging 108 dollar a barrel just three years ago and now, it is under 30 dollars, so these are challenging times but as they say, tough time4s don’t last, but tough people do.
“He is coming at a challenging time, first, in the context our intra party contestation which is very healthy for a democratic party but also in terms of the electioneering between our party and the party that wrecked Edo State for 10 years. They are going to return to what they know best; inventing stories, taking advantage of the internet and devoting a whole team to scandalize anyone they imagine would be an obstacle to their undeserved office.
“Between last week and today, some persons who are even quite serious minded fellows have rushed to me to say, Comrade, have you seen what is on the internet? They say you have a new airline and it is called ‘forte Adams’. Nice name, very nice and they showed me the color of the Aircraft, very beautiful.
But you see, when people go to take advantage of modern technology and falsify all kind of things, it will be your headic along with your lieutenants in Information session to pick the one to ignore and the one that is worth replying.
“I believe this is the era of internet warriors, whether for good or for bad, sponsored advertorials, half truth and so on. But because we are the governing party and the government of the day, these people who are unemployed, in the opposition party and who mis-governed the state for 10 years, devote their time to painting their own images, we must refused to be distracted to abandon the Edo project. That is the challenge.
“We have a job to do, we have a government to run, we have our people to service and we want to work up to the last day. We want to finish strong and finish well but those we retrenched from power, the PDP, they are going to want to distract us from that agenda. So in know you have the sophistication to define what we need to reply to and what we need to let go.
“Beyond reacting or not reacting is that we have enough projects to keep you busy, educating and helping people to realize how much we have done in this government, local government by local government, so that why they keep on pinching fake pictures, we will show real pictures, the politics of eye mark. Eye mark is not in the social media, eye mark is on the ground and I am sure you have enough to do. The ministry has to be more engaging.
“When we are done with the primaries, we are as a family have to work hard, to tie the candidate with the face of the party as represented by what we have achieved over the 7 years.
“For Iyamu, yours is straight forward. He has being one of our very distinguished, silent but hard working member of our great party. He has the requisite experience and he brings on board, considerable managerial experience and with him reinforcing the work your colleagues are already doing at EDSOPADEC, I believe they will do even better with your contribution.
“Already, people are noticing the difference between the present leadership of EDSOPADEC and what it was under the PDP.
Today, to the credit of EDSOPADEC, we can talk about roads in different local government areas of their coverage and we are talking about standard roads. Those are not things that your commission could boast of in the past before the coming of the current chairman.
“So, I urge you to add value, to refocus on delivery of measurable area of infrastructure so that the oil producing local government areas can see the benefit of the commission in their lives’.