BY EDMOND ODOK, ABUJA – Stakes in the simmering crisis of confidence between the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole are daily going a notch higher with plans to probe the immediate past administration in the South South state now in the open
Feelers emerged at the weekend that the Edo state Government is determined to probe contracts for construction of structures and supply of equipment to Benin Central Hospital, awarded by the Oshiomhole’s regime.
Insiders hinted Forefront that despite open denials by contending forces, the intrigues and machinations at play are all pointers to the dogged fight for the control of political structures ahead of the 2020 gubernatorial elections in the state.
According to the sources, notwithstanding official position from the government to the contrary, the current moves are part of the plans to stem the tide of what many consider unwarranted intimidation and mounting pressure on Governor Obaseki’s administration by the APC Comrade Chairman and his die-hard cronies.
It was gathered the recent State House of Assembly’s leadership crisis is part of the heat being generated by the no love lost disposition between contending camps as the arrowheads have decided to go full blast on the public space in their veiled strategies and uncompromising stands to gain mileage going into next year’s Edo State guber race.
But Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Cruise Osage, said on Sunday in Benin that the proposed Commission of inquiry has nothing to do with alleged witch-hunting and control of Edo politics.
Osagie stated that the panel, to be constituted soon, is only set to probe the controversial hospital contracts that have become a serious pain in the State government’s neck.
The Governor’s spokesman explained that the investigation is based on numerous calls on the present government by well-meaning individuals and groups to investigate the contracts that had billions of taxpayers’ money expended on poorly executed projects under Comrade Oshiomhole as governor of the State.
He said the Commission’s mandate will include ascertaining if details of contract terms were strictly adhered to, especially the quality of materials used for the building.
Osagie said the panel is also expected to determine the extent of irregularities regarding the purchase of equipment among others.
The statement further said; “The state government will investigate allegations of fraud and irregularities with the contract for procurement of the hospital equipment.”
Osagie said it will also be the Commission’s responsibility to unravel why the equipment contracted were yet to be supplied as well as other claims made by the contractors, adding; “The contractors who handled the building had questions to answer including the shoddy jobs done among others.”
The governor’s aide however disclosed that works were on-going to patch up parts of the Hospital, especially areas of the poorly constructed facilities that led to collapse of the roof in some sections of the complex.
Insinuations remained rife within the opposition camps in the state that funds from the hospital project were among those allegedly diverted by the then Oshiomhole’s administration to bankroll Obaseki’s governorship campaigns in year 2016 .
However, competent sources hinted that with high expectations of some stakeholders and the presidency moving in to call a truce, the warring parties believe continuously digging in and consolidation in their trenches are necessary in order to discuss from a position of strength when the roundtable negotiations eventually flag-off.
Our reliable insider said already, the give and take position canvassed by major stakeholders of Edo politics would soon become obvious with compromises aimed at putting to rest current contentions among the warring State lawmakers.