Why I’m Not In Good Terms With Chief Igbinedion – Oshiomhole
BEVERLY HILLS, January 18, (THEWILL) – Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has ruled out the possibility of any reconciliation with the father of one of his predecessors and Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, with whom he has had a running battle.
This was as he noted that he is not prepared to mend fences with a man who sees himself as bigger than the entire Edo State.
Oshiomhole's war with the senior Igbinedion is believed to been caused by the latter's rejection of the Land Use Charge introduced by the state government. He recently alleged that certain things went wrong under the Igbinedion administration, alleging that the Esama played a part.
While accusing his predecessor of diverting $31m from the coffers of the state, the Governor also alleged the theft of the over N600m meant for the dredging of the Ikpoba River in Benin City as well as the diversion of the funds for the construction of the road leading to Okada, the village of the Igbinedions. He equally accused them of confiscating over 200,000 hectares of land belonging to the state government which was sublet to Yoruba cocoa farmers in Okada who pay royalty.
But Oshiomhole at the weekend foreclosed any reconciliation when he visited Chief Igbinedion's country home in Okada, Ovia North-East Local Government Area to commission classroom blocks at Iguomo and a three-storey office complex which was named after the governor.
While clarifying that he had no problem with Chief Igbinedion, the former labour leader explained that his duty as governor of the state was to protect both the rich and the poor. He added that it was in the course of discharging such duties that he had to disagree with the elder statesman.
His words, “I heard the Chairman (of the local government) talking about my quarrel with Igbinedion. I have no problem with anybody. There are only four levels of government, federal, state, local and traditional institution. The House of Igbinedion does not belong to any of this.
“He is a chief and I respect him as a chief but he must respect constituted authorities, the office of the governor of Edo State. This governor cannot be harassed, he cannot be blackmailed. And I stand ready to defend that office.