‘Election petition, salary payment not a problem’ – Obaseki

Following the Court of Appeal in Benin’s judgement upholding his declaration as governor of Edo state on Friday, Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed confidence that his victory would stand because it was legal, stressing also that his administration did not owe salaries.

This was in an interview with Channels TV where the governor also explained that the people of Edo State voted overwhelmingly for him and that All Progressives Congress (APC) remained the validly elected party despite People’s Democratic Party (PDP’s) judicial contention of election.

He said: “God gave me the victory; the people of Edo State voted for me, our ancestors blessed the victory, the courts in their wisdom have also reaffirmed my victory.”

He described PDP’s persistence as unfortunate because their case had no merit, adding that even the judges at both the Election Tribunal and Court of Appeal held that they did not have credible evidence to prove their allegations.

Meanwhile, he noted that he had shunned party favouritism in developing the state, commenced extensive and inclusive infrastructural development, and even appealed to them (PDP) to join in working for the progress of the state, but they still seemed bent on upsetting the state and the country at large.

The governor, however, noted that he won on the platform of APC and that the political party, being the logical majority, would govern the state.

“I won, fair and square, on the platform of APC, with overwhelming majority. I have made it clear; APC won, APC will govern the state. Therefore, my cabinet will be purely APC, but in terms of getting people to work with me, we have held series of workshops across very many policy issues involving opposition parties,” he explained.

On salary payment and job creation, he stated that his administration did not owe its workers any salary, and that although Local Governments were experiencing some challenges, he was working towards resolving them but that his administration had put modalities in place to exceed the 200,000-job benchmark.

“We do not owe salaries; we paid salaries last on the 26th of May. We have been in office for 7 months now. What we have done should be analysed on its own merit, and you can now determine how many jobs we truly would have created in that process. It is not about the number of jobs we promised to create, which is 200,000 in 4 years; that will be done, it is a no brainier. The issue is creating the environment for this to happen. Making sure that young people are given the skills, the training and the capacity to work, and also to create an environment where entrepreneurs and business people can make the investments so that the jobs can be created,” the governor stated.

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