BENIN CITY -Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has taken a swipe at the Federal Government for buffeting Nigerians with excuses, saying Nigerians are tired of waiting in vain for the party to get its acts right and are yearning for change to return the country to the path of glory.
Speaking Wednesday when over 3,000 members of the Edo State Welders Association paid him a thank-you visit at the Government House, Oshiomhole said in spite of the media hype from the PDP Federal Government about revolution in the agriculture sector, he was surprised to read in the newspapers that the country still imports rice.
According to him, “they say we are doing well in agriculture but we are importing rice and PDP says those who import rice have not paid export duties, so I ask, ‘what happened to the agricultural revolution we are celebrating’? Can you be importing what you are producing? Everywhere you turn to, it’s always excuses and that is why in Edo we have said it is about ‘eye-mark’, not ‘I shall’, but ‘I have’ and you can see it”, he said.
The Governor said as March 28 approaches, “the issues in the forth coming election are between the forces of the status quo, business as usual continuing versus change. They tell us there is train, but I don’t know when last you entered train but we see it on television. Second River Niger Bridge we see it on television. They said they have created millions of jobs but we only see it on the pages of newpapers. They arrange some well-dressed young boys and get them to do fake confessions. We see young farmers wearing three piece suits and they say they are farmers.”
The Governor said it is laughable that rather than own up to its inefficiency, the PDP Federal Government is blaming the current fuel scarcity on the APC , saying the Sure-P programme has been bastardised as it is now used to patronize political thugs of the PDP.
According to him, “we hear of what they call SURE-P, which we now know is “choppie” They take government money, Nigeria peoples’ money and give to PDP leaders to give to thugs rather than give it to people who will work.”
He said it is unfortunate that the PDP Federal Government has brought the nation to so much ridicule that we now rely on small neighbouring countries, including Chad, Niger and Camroon to quell insurgency in parts of the country, saying “We in APC understand clearly that Nigeria cannot continue to behave like a lazy elephant on its knees. It has to get up and dominate the African forest. We are destined to lead the black world not to be assisted by any country but to lead them. That is God’s wish for us. He gave us land, He gave us people more than 170 million, He gave us liquid gold, solid gold, all kinds of gold and above all he gave us brain, so what is our excuse?”
The Governor said he is happy that the Welders understand the issues on the frontburner for the next elections, saying “You have your PVCs, use it to vote for change, to vote for light, to vote for security, to vote for anti-corruption. I ask you to have faith in our country and I am happy that in spite of the frustration, you are on course and the energy you demonstrate shows you are determined to move the nation forward and ensure Nigeria makes it”, he said.
The Governor who praised the welders for judiciously utilizing Government’s support to them in 2012 pledged an additional N50 million support for them to help boost their trade.
He said: “Consistent with our commitment to support our people regardless of your place of birth or so called origin, once you are here, you are Edo; we don’t care where you happen to have been born, we care where you reside. To further encourage you to expand your business, we have decided to again support you this year as we have done in previous years by providing you with N50million.
Oshiomhole said, “Once you have shown the capacity to manage a small capital, government needs to give incentives to keep on expanding. So to ensure that this support goes to your capital and you don’t mistakenly use it for any other thing, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will sit with your leaders, and identify how best to procure the equipment you need and a small working capital to expand your business.
“I believe that giving you small money to expand your business to grow is more helpful to Nigeria than leaving people idle, spending the money to buy hilux to chase criminals because if people are working, they will not go to commit crime.”
According to him, “whatever support we have given you is informed by my own background. The way to keep our country going is to connect with the real people and the needs of our real people are still very basic. No Nigerian says Government should bring food to his table. What Nigerians say as in your case is give us light so that we can weld. If there is no light and we have to buy diesel, let the diesel be available, not the one that is adulterated and will destroy your generators.”
Earlier, President of the State Welders’ Association, Comrade Isaac Okunbor-Oguns said the association was in Government House to appreciate the Governor for the support he gave the union in 2012 which has led to the expansion of their businesses.
He said: “Have you ever seen any Governor or Head of State that recognized any welder, it’s only our Comrade Governor.”
He said the Governor provided provided tools for workers, something they’ve agitated for over the years saying “we have our PVCs to vote for or against any government.
“In Nigeria today the two major parties, APC and PDP are under watch based on their campaign slogans of continuity and change.
“We enjoin Nigerians to view continuity from these perspectives: one. Electricity blackout to continue? Corruption to continue? Insecurity to continue? The devaluation of our currency, Naira, to continue? Decaying infrastructure to continue? Those canvassing for change want change from blackout to light. To change the country from being the most corrupt country in the world. To change the country from the present level of insecurity to a more secured environment where we can sleep with our two eyes opened. To change the current level of our naira to be equivalent to other currencies in the world.
“We call on Nigerians to study these analyses carefully and choose this day, the party to vote for. For us welders, we have collectively chosen the party of change.

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