Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has raised alarm over alleged plan by the state government to sell some key assets belonging to government to a crony of the governor.
The party listed the assets to be sold by the Godwin Obaseki led APC government to include the Bendel Newspaper Publishing Company, publishers of the Nigerian Observer and the Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS).
According to the party in a press statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare and made available to LEADERSHIP, alleged that the governor planned to sell the properties to one Dr. Henry Nzekwu who was a consultant during the governorship campaign of Obaseki.
According to the statement titled: “Say No To Planned Sale Of Edo State Assets”, Nehikhare said, “The attention of Edo PDP has been drawn to the activities of Edo State government regarding its planned sale of government properties”.
He said recently the state government procured the services of four media executives to produce a report to justify the sale, or concession of two public enterprises (Bendel Newspapers Ltd, and Edo Broadcasting Service).
“True to type, the panel produced a report to suit the prearranged position of Governor Obaseki and his alleged business interest.
“Presently, the governor has privately selected a preferred “investor” who happened to be the consultant to his campaign organisation.
“The said investor is Dr. Henry Nzekwu. He manages a small radio station in Delta state and it is alleged he has great difficulty breaking even.
“However, the plan is to quietly divest Edo state interest from both companies, hand them over to Dr. Nzekwu, who is allegedly acting as a front, as a trade off, for the role he played during the campaign.
“This format is similar to the one Ex-Governor Oshiomhole used in selecting Afri-Invest as the preferred Partner for Edo University Iyamoh.
“In Iyamoh, Afri-Invest was used as a holding company before Adams Oshiomhole can assume control. Dr Nzekwu in this case is allegedly playing a similar role for Governor Obaseki.
“This is exactly what the governor is doing to Edo Line where her assets are been striped and in some cases allegedly converted to personal properties.
“We call on the state government to stop the illegal sale and acquisitions of government assets and properties.
“We implore them to put in place a well-motivated management team, invest just 50% of 3 months of the illegally collected security votes (N600m) and EDSG will achieve a world class media company”, the Edo PDP Image-maker alleges.
Reacting however, Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy to Governor Obaseki, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said there was no such plan to sell the two assets or any asset of Edo State by government.
According to Osagie, “Even in the report submitted by the committee set up by the governor to look into the two companies, there was nowhere it recommended that the two state owned media outfits should be sold.”
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