Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole has frequently accused his predecessor, Lucky Igbinedion and his family of corruption.
Oshiomhole has frequently accused Igbinedion and his family of corruption.
The former governor made the comments during an interview with Punch. Excerpts below:
How would you react to the criticism that your administration was very corrupt?
They said that the PDP stole money. There is nowhere in any of the charges where they said that Lucky Igbinedion embezzled money. There is nowhere in the charges where they said that Lucky Igbinedion mismanaged so many resources. But a lot of people just talk because of lack of knowledge or maybe their illiteracy is worrying them.
We did not have the money to be corrupt with. We were receiving one of the lowest incomes in the state. For the first four years, all we were doing were just paying pensions and wages. If you look back at the records, there was nothing to be corrupt about because there was no money to be corrupt with. So, I can say categorically that my administration was not corrupt.
You did not respond to series of criticisms against your administration by Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Why?
Well, I do not have the same background with the incumbent governor. We come from different backgrounds and we have our ways of approaching various issues. I do not believe in calling people names. I have never criticised his government; that is not my style.
I believe that I have given him enough rope to do his own thing. It is now time for the people of Edo State to really look inward and search their souls to see under whose administration they have lived a more comfortable life, a more secure life, and a more people-oriented life. So, I will leave the people to make that judgment.
He believes in ‘listening to himself’. I believe in ‘watching and listening to other people’ rather than making unnecessary and vile, rude statements about other people. I was not brought up in that way. I was brought up under a very strict, disciplined family. Both my father and mother brought me up well; they did not teach me to start abusing my elders or even abusing people of equal status.
The seat of the governor is highly important that you must watch what you say because people are listening. People associate your words with that seat of authority. So, when you talk, you have to be very diplomatic. You have to be dignified in your words and carriage. It is not a position or seat where you talk just because you feel like talking. Like they always say, if you have nothing better to say, maintain the silence.
He replies to everything. As a governor, you do not reply to every comment that is made. Otherwise, you will just over-talk, which is what everybody now knows him (Oshiomhole) for. He overreacts, exaggerates the truth and blows his trumpet. He should let the people decide. Let the people create that opinion; he is trying to force it down their throat and the people say, enough is enough.
I once asked him to look back at his inaugural photographs and find out how many people are still with him. If he found out that most of them are still there, then he is doing well. If he could not find those people that were there on the first day of his inauguration in 2008, then there is a problem.
So, do you think that he has failed?
Definitely. His loyalists left when they started discovering his characteristics and his mannerism. What comes out of your mouth goes a long way. It is like an egg; once it comes out of your mouth, you cannot put it back together. You can think that you can go back and apologise behind, just like him telling a woman to go and die.
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How can you tell a widow that is struggling and wanting to make ends meet to go and die? The worst part is that the people he is now abusing are the people he knelt down for before his election and started praising them. But today, he is abusing all of them. So, where is his judgmental capacity? When you talk too much, you talk nonsense.