The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has described plans by Governor Godwin Obaseki to give N20,000 to 310,000 households as palliative for the removal of fuel subsidy as deceptive and fraudulent.

The Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, after the state exco meeting, disclosed that the government would give out the cash to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal using a database to reach vulnerable populations.

In a statement by the State chairman of the APC, Col. David Imuse (retd.), “Is it not high time, Mr. Godwin Obaseki thought of better ways to make good on his electoral promise to make Edo great again rather than working hard on Yahoo schemes designed to defraud Edo people and indeed Make Edo Grounded Again(MEGA)!

“The APC is forced to describe Governor Obaseki’s plan to distribute N20,000 to 310,000 households among millions of Edo people as deceptive and fraudulent. It is a sad reminder of the COVID-19 palliative disaster where the governor claimed he spent a whopping N2-billion. Yet all that he got actually came as support from the Federal government and corporate organizations. The governor then hoarded the items meant for the vulnerable until the citizens invaded the warehouses where he kept them.

“This timing of Obaseki’s distribution of N20,000 largesse is suspicious, as it coincides with the governor beating his chest before money managers, who are at home with his antics, that his accountable and prudent management of resources has led to a record growth in the State’s budget performance.

“For a man who enjoys playing the ostrich, the governor forgot that his claims cannot hold water in the face of his unparalleled growth of the State’s debt burden in six years. As it were Edo State debt has been steadily increasing since Obaseki took office. Reports had put the total debt at a staggering ₦76.8 billion as of December 2020, representing a sharp increase from the ₦25.1 billion recorded in 2016. Is this significant rise not supposed to be a cause for alarm?

He added, “In addition, with the State local government elections coming up in September, it is obvious that Governor Obaseki hopes to use the #20,000 as a ploy to buy support for candidates in his dying party and therefore manipulate the electoral process.

“Ironically, the state government has never revealed the existence of a reliable database of citizens in Edo, which raises questions about the legitimacy of such a database and the fairness of selecting beneficiaries. It is only immoral for Governor Obaseki to implement the N20,000 per household without a valid database, transparency, and accountability.

“We reject Governor Obaseki’s planned N20,000 gift. It is a Greek gift. It is nothing more than a scam to oil his rusting political agenda. He should not travel that road,” he added.