The Joint Forces for the Defence of Democracy (JOFDES) have rejected the move by Edo state government to borrow twenty billion naira from the stock market exchange.
According to the leaders of the group Felix Osewmengie Isere, Esq and Marxist Kola Edokpayi told newsmen during a protest rally round major streets in Benin City the state capital said the state government has no justification to acquire another 20 billion naira loan that will become a lasting yoke on the good people of the state.
‘Just few weeks to the state governorship election, the governor is making a desperate attempt to secure another loan from the stock market exchange’
‘The most shocking part of it is that Mr. Obaseki is considering these loans when Edo state currently services the 150 million dollars credit obtained from the world bank.
‘Edo state domestic debt profile stands at 84.76 billion naira, we have the highest domestic debt in Nigeria, second only to Lagos State. We have the highest external debt in the entire South-South with an external debt of 257.92 million dollar as at March 2020′
The protesters carrying placard with various inscription: “We reject the 20b loan proposal by Edo state government’, “don’t sell the future of Edo state today because of Political interest” among others.
Members of JOFDES however call on President Buhari, secretary to the government of the federation, Hon minister of state for budget and national planning, director general debt management office (DMO) Abuja, the chairman Senate and House committee on local and foreign debts, the governor of central bank of Nigeria and other authorities concerns to do everything within their power to stop this loan from being approved for the governor of Edo state.
However in a reaction, Governor Godwin Obaseki said the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is sponsoring the Protest.
The Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, advised candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election, to go to court and face his corruption trial instead of sponsoring protests over non-existent issues.
“In a bid to distract Edo people from his ongoing trial in court for a N700 million fraud allegation, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has resorted to sponsoring protests over non-existent issues.
“There is no such thing as N20 billion debt proposal by the Edo State Government, and Edo people cannot be distracted by such wild claim,” Osagie said.
The Governor’s Aide stressed that “it is ridiculous that on a day the APC candidate is billed to appear in court after several efforts on his part to stall his prosecution, he comes up with a bogus claim of a non-existent debt proposal, and pay people to put up a protest around the court premises.”