The Edo State Government has faulted the All Progressives Congress for allegedly backing land grabbers in the state.
In a statement issued on Monday by Mr. Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser on Media Projects to the governor, Godwin Obaseki, and made available to The PUNCH, the government decried the APC for “condemning the state’s aggressive effort against land grabbers and other non-state actors responsible for disrupting land administration.”
The statement read, “The attention of the Edo State Government has been drawn to a statement by the APC in Edo State, condemning the state’s aggressive effort against land grabbers and other non-state actors responsible for disrupting land administration in the state.
“The tirade is not unexpected from the APC in the state, which thrives in lawlessness and disorder and sees nothing gainful in cleaning up a defective and unlawful system that empowered thugs and miscreants, who had hitherto intimidated and fleeced unsuspecting citizens in land and related transactions.
“The APC had been in bed with elements in communities, particularly the now-defunct Community Development Associations who trade in terror to intimidate, cow, and dispossess people of their landed property, fermenting trouble that had scared investors from our state and discouraged many Edo sons and daughters, especially in diaspora from investing in the state until recently.
“Given their peculiar mode of operation, these non-state actors were also known as ‘lions and tigers’ and were as vicious as they were deadly. They amassed a lot of money and influence from their activities, spreading terror and fear. It is this set of persons that the APC is making a case for in their infantile media release.
The statement also queried where the APC was regarding the government’s increased minimum wage and paid pensioners, adding that the party did not speak up on those feats.
“Where was Edo APC when the state government increased the minimum wage in Edo State from N30,000 to N40,000 and harmonised the pay of pensioners in the state? Is the impact of this landmark initiative not felt by a lot more people in the state? Why didn’t they speak up at the time this feat was recorded?” It stated.
The statement further read, “On the charge for the state government to deploy its assets to check banditry and herdsmen attacks, the Edo APC is obviously playing the Ostrich. In case they have forgotten, I would like to remind them that the Federal Government – which is controlled by their party, the APC – is constitutionally empowered to address issues of national security.
“The APC-controlled Federal Government is in charge of the machinery of state to fight off banditry and herdsmen/farmer clashes. They control the Civil Defense, Nigerian Army, Department of State Services, Nigeria Intelligence Agency, and the Nigeria Police Force.
Hence, the criticism should be directed at their party at the national level.
“It is obvious that the APC in Edo State is out of its depth and are now spokespersons for violent elements whose actions were responsible for the state’s underdevelopment in the past.
Osagie concluded, “I would like to remind them once again that Edo people have rejected them and their retrogressive politics. The people have seen the light and would never allow a relapse into darkness anymore.”