Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, in a debate with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, accused his predecessor in office, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of reckless borrowing, resulting in the state’s huge debt profile.
Obaseki said this at the governorship debate organised by Channels Television, where the contestants tackled each other and enumerated what they would to better the lot of Edo citizenry, if elected in the September 19 poll.
This came as Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress, APC, said the governor had little or nothing on the ground after four years in office, besides increasing security vote.
He also accused the governor of appointing over 2,000 SSAs on social media and mistaking for job creation.
But the governor, who is the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, said: “Let me make some points very clear. My predecessor in office borrowed recklessly and the Federal Government had to restructure all the debts that we have taken before I came into office.
“These included a whole series of bank borrowings; borrowing to pay salaries. So the Federal Government restructured outstanding obligations to Edo State to the tune of almost N30 billion.
“That was what was responsible for adding to the debt stock; not borrowings from this administration.”
He also alleged that the immediate past government owed contractors about N70 billion, and pegged the debt owed by the state at N120 billion.
If given another opportunity to serve as Edo State governor, Obaseki promised to open up the state to endless possibilities, noting that he had created 157,000 jobs so far.
Reacting, Ize-Iyamu said faulted Governor Obaseki on his claim of job creation.
He said: “I am sure he is not going to misplace the appointments he is making now as jobs. I know in the past one month, he has appointed over 2,000 people as SSAs on social media and the rest of them.
“Those are not jobs. When you say you have created jobs, in what area? We know for example that there is a glaring vacancy in the teaching profession and every school we went to, they practically had no teacher.
“I have a simple agenda that I will work with. There is no way we can move forward without security. We will invest in infrastructures.”