TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESS BYCHIEF DAN OSI ORBIH CHAIRMAN PDP EDO STATE ON FRIDAY 26TH, 2010-06-24
Ladies and gentlemen of the press,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this press briefing. First and foremost, I wish to thank you all for the wonderful cooperation you extended to our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the last Saturday stop over in Benin City by President and Commander of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s visit to Delta State en-route Benin City.
Today once again, we feel obliged to draw your attention to some of the happenings in the State most of them that bothers on constitutional breaches and arrant disregard to the feelings of the electorate and the general citizenry of Edo State by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his government.
Following this mischievous and orchestrated vive of corruption infested in the government of Edo State today, we deemed it necessary to avail the stakeholders and indeed the entire people of Edo State of the implications of this desecration of our democratic governance.
Gentlemen of the press, we have always observed with dismay the manner and ways the administration of governor Adams Oshiomhole awarded contracts in the State. Most of the contracts are never advertised nor due process followed as some of them are not even captured in the budget. Examples are the Anegbete-Ekperi road and the Ewohimi-Igueben road.
This government promotes corruption and over-invoicing of contracts. It has the habit of cleverly refusing to state the distances of the roads and the contractors handling the projects.
1). 2.7 Billion Naira was said to have been spent on Auchi erosion control. As I speak with you even though, the money has been fully paid, there is no single work done there.
2). You will recall during the briefing before the State House of Assembly, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Clement Agba claimed to have spent over N4 Billion Naira on ordinary designing of erosion control in Benin City and its environ. Ironically even when the said design project was never advertised, the same item of design is still contained in the bill of quantity (BOQ) of the roads being renovated. This is amounting to double award of the same project.
3). The Commissioner of Environment also told the State House of Assembly that the government had expended over 250 million Naira to remove sand from the gutter and disilting. The same item of disilting is also still contained in the contract award of the roads. Yet another double awarding of the same project by the governor.
CONTRACTS AWARDED TO RELATIONS:
1). You will recall that on the 11th August 2009, Adams Oshiomhole awarded a contract to his in-law’s company, Source – EM Global Services. The company was engaged to supply two (2) New Dando Watertec 24 Mobile Borehole Drilling Rigs, complete with tools and accessories to Edo State government at a cost of three hundred and seventy one million, nine hundred and forty four thousand Naira (N371, 944,000) only. This was to be supplied within three months from the day mobilization fees were paid.
2). And on the 28th August 2009, the sum of two hundred and twenty six million, five hundred and thirty thousand Naira, eighty hundred and ninety (N226, 530, 890) which was 70% of the contract sum was paid to this his in-law’s company (with payment voucher Head 455, sub head 5 on month of August, 2009 P.V. No 2).
We wish to inform the public that, about eleven months after the mobilization was paid, the contractor neither supplied the items nor refunded the money collected. The specified three months to deliver the items as agreed upon in the contract expired.
Gentlemen of the press, I wish to at this juncture salute your courage and dexterity as you joined forces with us on this issue. Information reaching us is that government now has two refurbished Dando water Tec Borehole Drilling Rigs. We are still awaiting new ones ordered through the in-law’s company.
ROAD CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT:
1). Benin Ring Road to Ogba Bridge (Airport Road)
Contractor: Servetec Nig. LtdDistance: 8 km (eight) KilometersContract Sum: Four billion eight hundred million Naira only (N4.8 billion) Cost of contract per Kilometer: (N600, 000,000.00) six hundred million. Contract sum to include Road furniture such as drainage, streetlights, road dividers and side walkway.
2). Benin Ring Road through Oba Market Road to Siluko road by textile mill Road junction.
Contractor: HitekDistance: 3.2 Km (Three Kilometer, two hundred meters)Contract Sum: Two billion, eight hundred million Naira only (N2.8 billion)Cost of contract per Kilometer: (N875, 000,000.00) per Km. Contract to include Road furniture such as drainage, street lights, road dividers and side walkway.
Gentlemen of the press, as the fourth estate of the realm, you may wish to compare these contract awards by Oshiomhole to more sophisticated roads by the Federal government and NNDC below to appreciate the mess Edo State people had found themselves.
FEDERAL ROAD CONTRACT:
3). East-West Road (Warri-Port Harcourt)Dual Carriage wayComplete with Drainage, Streetlights, Road dividers.
Contractor: Setraco Nig. Ltd.Cost of Contract per Kilometer: N125 millionClient: Federal Ministry of Works
N.D.D.C. Average rate for a standard road construction complete with drainage and culverts in Niger Delta swampy terrain is about N78-80 million per kilometer.
A dual carriage way will be multiplied by two (plus or minus).
Federal Ministry of Works average rate for a standard road construction complete with drainage and culverts is about N50-60 million per kilometer.
The rate does not include cost of bridges and flyovers.
Federal Government, N.D.D.C. and Edo State Government
Education in Edo State had gone Topy tovey since Adams Oshiomhole took the reigns of power in 2008. You are all aware that before now education used to be the main thrust for Edo people. Today things have changed for the worse.
a). Edo State students in tertiary institutions no longer enjoy bursary awards and school fees increased drastically. Oshiomhole’s government has descended on the teachers by not paying them their salaries as at when due. Only the other day the teachers at the Ambrose Ali University (AAU) down their tools on a one-week warning strike and as we speak today, they are planning to go on indefinite strike. Does the laborer not deserve his/her wages? We may ask.
b). The Governor illegally and forcefully constituted the State SUBEB, but no primary or Secondary school has received or recorded infrastructural development. Here is a man who has hitherto cried foul that it was the PDP non compliance for his constitution of SUBEB that has made him not to develop the schools. The question therefore is what has happened to the money budgeted for these projects?
c). Gentlemen of the press, you are all aware of the arrogant, naked and shameless display of power by governor Oshiomhole few weeks ago when he and his government wanted to forcefully take over the conduct of the NECO examinations in the State. This led to the suspension of the exams in the State and many of our students could not write some examination papers. This was a wakeup call by NECO about the state of affairs in the educational sector.
Gentlemen of the press, you will agree with me that the general state apparatus has broken down in the State, especially in Benin City. For instance, economic strong holds of most of our people has been destroyed and demolished. For months, major roads in Benin City have become impassible. Access roads are the worst hit, not even the government reservation area (GRA) roads have been spared.
Tension and gross extortion have sinisterly descended on public motor parks across the State, especially in the major towns following the inglorious return of the notorious “Agberos” in the guise of members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and other different categories of extortionist groups.
The fear now is that there is no sign that these contractors would be able to complete these roads before the expiration of Oshiomhole’s administration, especially now that most of them are threatening to quit their sites due to non payment of at least two certificates.
In May this year of 2010, some of you journalists visited one of the government hospitals, to be precise the government hospital at Agenebode. The journalists met the Chief Medical Officer in charge of the hospital, Dr. Monday Obawonyi performing a surgical operation on a patient with a torchlight as there was no electricity power supply nor a generator set. He operated on one Mrs. Mary Alugbe who glorified God for her life.
Not long ago, you are aware of how the State Medical Officers abandoned our Central Hospital, Benin City because of ceaseless raids of armed bandits and lack of medical facilities.
It may interest you to know that this Agenbode situation is what is replicated in all our State hospitals today. The question therefore is how long can we continue with this state of anomie? Yet the Governor and his officials have remained insensitive to the plight of the people.
You are also witnesses to all the attempted threat to peace and security at the Benin Airport when the President passed through here on his way to Delta State. The government of Adams Oshiomhole did not only sponsor some charlatans to parade themselves as PDP leaders by printing for them posters screen boards to create the impression before the President that the PDP have factions. Governor Oshiomhole even have to advance these people with the tax payer’s money and equally gave some media outfits in the State a marching order to carry their advertisements for them at the expense of the State government.
Maybe this is part of the campaign of one man one vote. What a shame.
THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:
Recently at a meeting of the Action Congress in Edo State House of Assembly, its members led by one Bright Omokhodion pronounced the seats of six (6) PDP members of the House of Assembly vacant. This is not only laughable but a gross act of ignorance. You all know that the Edo State House of Assembly was adjourned at their last sitting by Rt. Hon Zakawanu Garuba sometime this year. Besides, the issue of the Edo State House of Assembly is in a competent court of jurisdiction both here in Benin City and Abuja. So for an A/C party meeting under the guise of the Edo State House of Assembly to commit such an illegal act is not only an act of illegality but a nullity.
So gentlemen of the press, these are just a few of the reasons we call on you once again to share with you the recent happenings in the failed government of Edo State.
Chief Dan Osi OrbihPDP State Chairman