Obaseki’s 70,000 Naira Greek Gift on Minimum Wage, Okpebholo Warns

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Senator Monday Okpebholo, on Thursday expressed concern over the new N70,000 minimum wage approved by Governor Godwin Obaseki, saying it was a Greek gift.

A Greek gift is something given or a favor done with treacherous intent.

The allegation was made in a statement issued in Abuja by his media office.

On Sunday, Obaseki announced an upward review of the state minimum wage for workers from N40,000 to N70,000.

He made the announcement at the inauguration of the newly constructed ultra-modern Labor House secretariat complex for the state unions along Temboga Road, Ikpoba-Hill, Benin.

But Okpebholo insisted he was convinced this was a political strategy to tilt the upcoming gubernatorial election in September in favor of his People’s Democratic Party candidate, Asue Ighodalo.

He said: “Public servants deserve better treatment from the state government and not a Greek gift to blackmail them into voting for a party that has failed the people of Edo State. There are no good schools, hospitals, roads or housing for public servants. These are the real problems.

“Obaseki has failed in every way and I am sure the people of Edo, especially the officials, know it. As governor, my administration will behave differently. Beyond the minimum wage, we will examine other priority areas for public officials, such as quality healthcare, housing and adequate transportation.

“I appeal to the people of Edo not to bother. Help is on the way. Our administration will correct the many mistakes of the PDP administration and ensure that Edo State is governed with a human face. We deserve more and my administration will provide it,” he stated.

The APC gubernatorial candidate also challenged Obaseki to explain the whereabouts of the N5 billion allocation approved by the Federal Government as a palliative to cushion the plight of civil servants in the state.

He said: “Governor Obaseki owes Edo officials six months arrears. Like other states, Edo received N5 billion from the federal government to cushion the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy. In FCT, civil servants received an additional N35,000 for six months.

“Other States did the same and gave them palliatives. In Edo State, Governor Obaseki has remained mute. No officials received extra money like their counterparts in other federal states. Let’s start the conversation from there.

“Obaseki should explain to Edo officials and Edo people what he did with the N5 billion. No one in Edo State has received palliatives or cash transfers from the Edo State Government. What has Obaseki spent the money on?

“We know that the state government is pocketing billions of naira to buy votes and conduct the gubernatorial election where it intends to impose its political puppetry on the people of Edo. Unfortunately for him, people are wiser, especially state officials.”