Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that no one is more deserving of the tag of emperor, which former President Olusegun Obasanjo sought to hang on state governors recently, than the ex-president himself.
Oshiomhole, who was reacting to a statement credited to the former Nigerian leader that state governors live like emperors in the face of dwindling revenue and hinder the local governments from performing their statutory functions, said the allegations do not apply to him (Oshiohole) or his administration.
He said perhaps Mr. Obasanjo was referring to state governors who were in office between 1999 and 2007 when he (Obasanjo) was president.
The governor said Obasanjo exhibited traits of an emperor during his tenures as military head of state and civilian president.
He spoke through the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Agbua.
He said: “The former president was a member of the PDP until a few weeks to the general elections when he tore his membership card. He may be referring to PDP governors whom he presided over. He may have information about PDP governors whom he presided over that he wanted to share.
“Our economic infrastructure is second to none in the history of this state. The PDP presided over this state for a period of ten years and they left a tale of woes, neglect and discredit infrastructure. Today we have converted that sorry state to a sweetened state by virtues of the economic infrastructure we have put in place.
“It will be a wrong estimation for anybody to put Oshiomhole in the rank of those who are called emperors. We don’t own a private jet in this state. Others have and they don’t have the means to sustaining it. We don’t live an exorbitant lifestyle. The governor’s office is the same except that we renovated it to give it a facelift.
“Go round and ask local government chairmen. Oshiomhole does not touch local government money. The directive he gave was that they should pay primary school teachers as a first line charge because of his commitment to education.
“When there was an interregnum, he saved money for the local governments. Some got as much as N800m. They inherited it because Oshiomhole saved the money for elected chairmen”.