The People’s Democratic Party and Governor Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday engaged in war of words over allegations by the PDP that the N500m Sobe maize farm was a conduit pipe to loot the state finances.
Governor Obaseki had in April last year inaugurated 1000 hectares of farmland at the Sobe Farm settlement for the cultivation of maize and the empowerment of 200 agripreneurs.
The maize farm was cultivated in partnership with the Saro Agrisciences.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, who spoke at a press briefing in Benin City stated that no agripreneurs were given a piece of the farm land as promised by Governor Obaseki.
Chief Orbih challenged Governor Obaseki to disclose how many tonnes of maize were realized from the farm or how much the state made from the project.
Orbih noted that the N500m paid to Saro Agrisciences was diverted as nobody benefited from the farm proceed.
He also cautioned Governor Obaseki against further sale of the state assets.
The Edo PDP Chairman listed assets already sold by Obaseki to include the Oil Palm Mill, Ubiaja Rice Mill and the Rubber Processing Mill.
Orbih said plans were on to sell off assets of Edo Line.
His words, “Government business cannot be managed like a private business. Bringing Saro Agrisciences to come and preside over siphoning of the state fund is unfortunate.
“The Sobe demonstration farm is a drain pipe to loot the state. No single graduate was engaged in the farm. The state government should show us who benefitted from the scheme.”
Governor Obaseki who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said his administration does not have any project that drains the resources of the state.
Obaseki said he has added value to the state’s several investments like the Edo Fertiliser and Chemical plant, development of the Benin Industrial Park, the Gelegele Seaport, training of Edo teachers, reconstruction of Benin Science and Technical College and many others.
His words, “As a responsible government, it is our duty to keep Edo people abreast of developments in the state. Every item mentioned in the recent address by the Edo PDP, is completely false and has no foundation what so ever in truth.
“The governor Godwin Obaseki administration is moving so smoothly and delivering all the promises it made to the people. The smooth sail causes the Edo PDP a great deal of unease, discomfiture and discomposure and instead of joining the moving train, they seem resolute about disrupting the process of progress by fabricating lies.
“The Edo PDP sees the world as they are. They know themselves to be untrustworthy with heavy baggage of graft and so they believe everyone else must be like them.
“We know Edo people are too sophisticated to be deceived by these feeble lies. They research, verify and compare claims before reaching a conclusion. But as for the Edo PDP, we are not surprised that they cannot prove their claims because they are lies.”