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Osunbor’s men in N500m last-minute withdrawal

Posted by From John Mayaki on 2008/11/13 | Views: 3230 |

Osunbor’s men in N500m last-minute withdrawal


Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole got cracking yesterday – 24 hours after he assumed office.

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole got cracking yesterday – 24 hours after he assumed office.

He froze the government’s accounts – to stop what a source described as the "massive looting" of the government’s treasury.

The source said N500million was withdrawn yesterday from the Benin City branch of a new generation bank by an unnamed member of the Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor’s administration.

Besides, the Government House was stripped bare, the source said.

Osunbor’s usurpation of the government was stopped on Tuesday by the Court of Appeal – after 18 months.

Oshiomhole sacked commissioners and other aides, dissolved the boards of all commissions and visited President Umaru Yar’Adua in Abuja.

He said the visit was to show appreciation for the President’s commitment to the rule of law.

Oshiomhole swore in Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Pally Iriase in Benin, the state capital, before going to Abuja.

A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation, Mrs Betty Igbeyi, said Oshiomhole ordered that the accounts be frozen until further notice.

The statement reads: "It is hereby announced for the information of the general public, ministries, and extra-ministerial departments that all government accounts are hereby frozen. Banks are by this announcement advised not to honour any government cheque for clearance until further notice."

In another statement dissolving all banks and sacking the former administration’s appointees, issued after he was sworn in, Iriase said the action became imperative for the Oshiomhole government to begin on a clean slate.

The statement reads: "Following the Court of Appeal judgment of 11

thNovember 2008, it is hereby announced for the information of the general public that all political appointments, including Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants and indeed, all non-political appointments, made by the administration of Senator Osunbor are hereby terminated.

"All affected appointees are requested to hand over all government properties in their possession immediately to the Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Central Administration, Governor’s Office, Benin City".

Iriase directed the chairmen and members of the dissolved boards to hand over the government properties in their possession including vehicles to the aforesaid permanent secretary within 24 hours.

Swearing in the SSG at the Government House, Oshiomhole said: "Some years ago, I saw Pally Iriase as a competent person that I can entrust some things into his hands".

He said then, he never thought that he would one day become a governor.

Iriase, the former chairman of Owan East Local Government Area, he said, deserved the appointment because of his "contribution in the past to his locality as Chairman of the council. Your work has been one of the things that have earned you this position. When he was in the local government, I saw evidence of a local government boss".

Oshiomhole said: "Today, I have the privilege of not recommending but using the power vested on me by the people of Edo State as the people’s governor in our shared commitment, I decide to choose him. We have waited since the past 19 months, so no one will say we are in a hurry to deliver.

"I wouldn’t want any one to tell me, including your group here, that this is the way we used to do it. We have not come to dictate oral traditions. We respect our people but governance must be based on change, new methods and new values. I am part of that system.

"I will bite you to the flesh on the oath that you have just taken that you shall do nothing which is not in accordance with the law that was why I immediately corrected the word ‘executive governor’ because there is no executive governor in the constitution but governor of a state. You are not expected to add or subtract from any portion of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"I urge you to live by example, not to be bugged down by distractions. The new government shall bring a new hope as we have a duty to perform. I don’t want to be seen on the pages of advertorials but the lives of the Edo people. You have to be careful not to allow yourself to be deceived by professional praise-singers. Those who were at the stadium for the swearing in went there themselves; we did not hire vehicles for anybody nor give money to supporters.

"Nobody should use government money to pay for any advert and anyone found guilty would have to pay back. Nobody should praise me on newspapers because I am not flattered by those praises. This appointment has nothing to do with your educational background because education does not necessarily make one responsible, after all; we once had a professor who stole the people’s mandate.

"I can only be a friend of the people when they see me on the street and begin to smile and not when they see me on the pages of advertorial. Perhaps, when you do not perform, people will see you as a monster. Now, it is time to work. The people of Edo State have nothing to worry about because we shall give you the best. Less than two weeks to come, we shall make known what we intend to do by revisiting our priorities".

In his acceptance speech, Iriase said: "I know the government of Adams Oshiomhole is a standard setting government in Nigeria generally. We have to work hard to achieve our clear goals, objectives and responsibilities. We are humbled by your mandate. At the time we begin to give employment to youths, we shall begin to say bye bye to poverty".

On his visit to Abuja, Oshiomhole said the President’s commitment to the rule of law made the judgment that brought him to office possible.

He promised to work with the Federal Government in fostering growth and development.

Oshiomhole said he was ready to work with the President to actualise the nation’s dream of being among the top 20 economies in the world in 2020.

The visit, he said, afforded him to obtain a blank cheque from the President to support the state.

He said the state would get a better deal from Yar’Adua despite party differences as the President is not a father to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but to all the parties.

Said the governor: "I am sure Edo people will be very glad to be reassured that President Yar’Adua will just be as kind and generous to them as he can possibly be to any other state and that in fact they are likely to get a far better deal from him because somehow before now I have had this very privilege relationship and I am very proud of it and we will do everything possible to service this privileged relationship.

"I am overwhelmed with joy that the President is very anxious to see how the Federal Government can contribute to help arrest the drift and to restore the glory of Edo State, I am very excited".

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.