…Obaseki reveals how PDP’s demand for $20 million bribe almost scuttled Edo-Azura Power Project
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that he will continue to work for the interest of ordinary Nigerians, urging them to vote for him in the presidential elections on February 16, so he can continue to deliver on the pledge to fight corruption, revitalize the economy and improve security, which are the cardinal policy thrusts of his administration.
The President said this at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Rally in Edo State, which held at Garrick Memorial School, in Ekehuan Road, Benin City, the state capital.
He assured that he will get the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to make public how much money has been recovered and what government intends to do with it.
“We are doing our best in fighting corruption. I assure you that very soon, I will instruct the EFCC and the ICPC to address a joint press conference to tell Nigerians what has been recovered and what we will do with the recovered funds,” he said.
The President was accompanied to the venue of the rally by Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and other party leaders across the nation.
Buhari said he is in the state to remind Edo people of the fundamental promises made in 2015, relaying what his administration has achieved in the areas of security, agriculture and the fight against corruption.
“We have made the North-East safer than we met it. We have given soft loans to farmers to enable the nation to attain food security. We have saved a lot of money in dollars by not importing.
“Please vote APC from top to bottom for the party to occupy the States’ Houses of Assembly; National Assembly and the Presidency,” he urged.
Governor Obaseki said that the progress being recorded in the state was made possible by the President’s support.
He said, “In Edo, when you see a masquerade dancing very well, you must know that somebody is beating the drum that is making it dance. Are we dancing well in Edo? Is your governor doing well? Are we paying salaries? Are we paying pensions? Are we training our teachers?
“Are we building our industrial park? Are we going to build a River Port? The drummer who is making all of these happen is here today. He is our president, President Muhammadu Buhari. There is nothing I could have done in the last two years without President Buhari,” he added.
Noting that the President came to the rescue of the state when the previous government almost scuttled the plan to build the Edo-Azura Power Plant, he said, “The president has done what we expected him to do. He has given us direction. I said to him, remember when you resumed office, within 60 days, former Governor Oshiomhole came to you and said you should help us with Azura Power Plant. He asked the President to give us a letter so that we can raise money to build that power Plant. The people before them refused to give us that letter. They were demanding for $20 million bribe, which we did not have.”
National Chairman of APC, Comrade Oshiomhole commended the President on his support for the state and the governor, noting that the president’s efforts helped in paying off debts incurred by the previous administration.
Hailing the President for his social investment programmes, he said “There are things that you have done that has shown where your heart is. Your constituency is the masses, which is why you created the social investment programme, which includes the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer, N-Power and MarketMoni.”
He said he was proud of Governor Obaseki for improving on what was done in his time as a governor, noting that the governor has added value to governance.
Earlier, Governor Obaseki led other members of the State’s Executive Council in receiving the President at the Benin Airport, at 3.05pm. The President was on board the presidential aircraft marked 5N-FGN.
After arriving the Airport, the President was driven to the Palace of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, where he went to pay homage to the revered monarch.
In anticipation of the President’s arrival, a mammoth crowd had besieged the Benin Airport by noon on Thursday, to receive the President for the state’s leg of his re-election campaign.
Members of the ruling APC from different parts of the state as well as the party’s supporters were colourfully dressed to receive the country’s number one citizen at the Airport.
Chairman, Buhari Supporters Organization, Arewa Chapter, Edo State, Abdullah Baba, said the president’s visit to the state is a welcome development.
Baba said the organization was at the Airport to receive him because of his developmental strides across the country.