Barely a week after being inaugurated for a second term and two months after winning re-election, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has rolled out tough decisions in the state on governance.
Igbere TV reports that on Friday, the governor ordered contractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to immediately stop executing projects or undertaking contracts in the state.
Obaseki said the state government is approaching the court to seek an order stopping the federal agency from embarking on any project in the state without the consent of the state’s Executive Council.
Speaking when management team of Seplat Petroleum Company Limited paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, in Benin City, Obaseki said the NDDC has continued to fail the people of the region in the discharge of its responsibilities.
The governor noted: “We embarked on a very ambitious project by signing an agreement with the NDCC and Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDOPADEC), to jointly construct the Benin-Abraka Road. Unfortunately, NDDC, as usual, failed and we are going to Court. We will not allow them to operate in the State except subject to our approving every project.
“They are only to execute projects cleared by the State Executive Council. They can’t come into the state and dictate to us what they want to do here. It’s our money and we will determine what we want, not them telling us what they want to do.”
“All NDDC contractors in Edo State are stopped forthwith from undertaking any contract or any work in the state. We want to go back and focus on our priorities. We want to build that Benin/Abraka Road. We are re-awarding that road,” Obaseki added.
Igbere TV recalls that Obaseki had made similar move against the NDDC when he allegedly, through his ally, a lawyer, approached the court stopping the inauguration of the then NDDC team constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
An Edo man, Dr. Pius Odubu and opponent in the then All Progressives Congress (APC) party of the governor was named chairman of the Commission, but the court processes stalled the inauguration.
This forced the President the reconstitute the NDDC team, allowing an interim committee to oversee the activities of the commission. Odubu was deputy governor and ally to former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whom Obaseki was at loggerheads with for months before decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to win re-election.