Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki says his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole left behind a huge debt burden that hampered the state’s development.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the September 19 gubernatorial poll in Edo stated this while reacting to a jibe from his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu during a debate organised by Channels Television on Sunday.
Ize-Iyamu had claimed that Obaseki’s government lacked innovation and borrowed needlessly for the most basic of ventures.
He said that the governor had achieved nothing in four years but only succeeded in increasing security vote.
The APC candidate added that the governor employed an army of 2,000 social media warriors to sing his praises under the guise of empowerment.
But reacting, Obaseki denied plunging the state into debt, saying that the blame should be on his predecessor, Oshiomhole.
He said that Oshiomhole’s administration owed N120 billion in total, out of which N70 billion was to contractors.
“Let me make some points very clear. My predecessor in office borrowed recklessly and the Federal Government had to restructure all the debts that we have taken before I came into office.
“These included a whole series of bank borrowings; borrowing to pay salaries. So the Federal Government restructured outstanding obligations to Edo State to the tune of almost N30 billion.
“That was what was responsible for adding to the debt stock; not borrowings from this administration,” the governor said.
The governor further claimed to have created 157,000 jobs in his first term, adding that he would create much more if given another opportunity to serve.
Reacting to the job creation claim, Ize-Iyamu stated, “I am sure he is not going to misplace the appointments he is making now as jobs. I know in the past one month, he has appointed over 2,000 people as SSAs on social media and the rest of them.
“Those are not jobs. When you say you have created jobs, in what area? We know for example that there is a glaring vacancy in the teaching profession and every school we went to, they practically had no teacher.
“I have a simple agenda that I will work with. There is no way we can move forward without security. We will invest in infrastructures.”