As controversy rages over the alleged diversion of Goodluck Jonathan campaign rice meant for distribution to the people of Edo State in the last general election by a gubernatorial aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Friday took a swipe at the said aspirant and the party, saying the people of Edo State will no longer be swayed by rice and garri politics.
A chieftain of the PDP, Okharedia Ihimekpen, had alleged that bags of rice released by former President Goodluck Jonathan to sway votes in favour of the PDP in the last general election were not distributed and was shocked to see the portraits of a certain gubernatorial aspirant super-imposed on the bags of rice and distributed as his Christmas package last December.
Speaking at the 2016 Auchi Day celebration on Friday, Governor Oshiomhole said politics of rice and garri was out of fashion as the people now prefer politics of development, which his administration has introduced to the state in the last seven years.
Giving his scorecard to the mammoth crowd of natives of the town who thronged the palace of the Otaru, Alhaji Haliru Momoh, Ikelebe 111, and some invited guests at the Auchi Day celebration, Oshiomhole said: “The PDP Federal Government awarded the Auchi erosion contract to one of their own; in the name of Auchi erosion, they enriched themselves and abandoned even the tractor in the erosion site, compounding the erosion problem. You wrote petitions and those letters were read and ignored, but we thank God for using me.
“We thank God that today, in the Auchi Erosion site, we can now locate two, three football pitches of Olympic standards in those areas that erosion had claimed.
“We have shown that government needs not lament, that government can listen and when contracts are awarded, they are meant to be done, not to provide avenue for them to deepen their pockets and use out of it to buy rice once in two years.
“I am glad that, Otaru, it will go down in the records that it was under your reign that God used us to dualise the Auchi Road, which your highness has kindly named Oshiomhole Way and I am humbled. At night, we now can have streetlight in spite of the challenges of power arising from PDP mismanagement of billions of naira that was voted for power.
“As you drive here, you see red roofs of schools that Auchi children can now attend and this year before the end of my tenure, your Highness, the remaining schools in Auchi will wear red roofs. We will do that because, your highness, you deserve it and I will try to discharge only part of my debt obligations to you.
“Every commitment that I have made, I will do, including the ones we are already doing. We will sustain them, we will complete them before the end of my tenure. My government will never lament. When others are not paying salaries, we paid before Christmas because my task is to make things happen, not to cry.
“Edo people will continue to prosper and our people will never again submit to the politics of rice and garri.”