The Edo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of blaming his policy failures on his subordinates in a bid to escape precarious responsibility.
Mr Obaseki had appeared in an interractive session on Thursday with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) aired via zoom where he addressed matters in the health sector.
Asked by Dr Philip Ugbodaga, who was Chief Medical Director of Central Hospital in Benin, why he had failed on his promise to build 192 health care centres in the state, the governor launched into a tirade against Dr Peter Ugbodaga (former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health) whom he erroneously construed as Dr Phillip Ugbodaga, accusing Dr Peter of lacking the capacity to fulfil his (Obaseki’s) dream.
But reacting in a statement by the Chairman of the Edo APC Media Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, the party blasted Governor Obaseki for suggesting that his subordinate prevented him from building up the state’s infrastructure.
He said, “This is another level of giving excuses. There is no excuse for failure. People hate leaders who give excuses and run away from taking responsibility.
“How can Governor Obaseki accuse a Chief Medical Director (CMD) or Permanent Secretary, (he will not know the difference if you table it before him) of frustrating his efforts on healthcare when in actual fact, he has no clear cut policy document on the sector?
“A man who has power to hire and fire is busy complaining of frustration from a subordinate, whereas he had amply made use of that power before.
“This simply tells you that Governor Obaseki is either lying or not in charge of his government – remember his commissioner for Art, Culture and Tourism, Mr Osemwingie Ero, who was arrested in Europe for money laundering (is still there) while refusing to brief Edo people on the circumstances surrounding the Ero’s incarceration abroad.”
In addition, Mayaki queried the governor, asking him to explain at what point in Edo state did the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health become so powerful that he completely handcuffed the governor.
He said, “Mr Governor, kindly inform us in what part of the country a Hospital Management Board and its CMD or a Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health will gain so much power that they would become manifestly capable of frustrating a Governor from building more Primary Health Care centres in the State?
“Are you telling us, sir, that your leadership skills are so unsatisfying, that you have no more control over your government?”
Meanwhile, Mayaki also called on residents in Edo state to take their healthcare into their own hands “by voting in Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as Mr Obaseki clearly has no plan for us.
“Until we vote out this man, our mothers will continue to use torchlight to deliver babies, who will not be able to access health care in Edo.
“In all his four years, he did not significantly touch the system and that is what we are coming to fix. Do you think our candidate, who is married to a Professor of Medicine, is not aware of the challenges facing the health sector? He is, and he will fix it.”