The Edo government says it is unfortunate that the federal government wants to gag Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, over his opinion on the fuel subsidy removal.
Obaseki had said that he was shocked to find out that the administration of President Bola Tinubu has no plan for post-subsidy removal.
Responding to this, Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, said the federal government understands the difficulty Nigerians are facing following the petrol subsidy removal.
The minister added that Obaseki was trying to shift focus away from his “poor performance” at state level and also claimed that the governor was absent in NEC meetings under the current administration.
In a statement on Sunday, Chris Nehikhare, the Edo commissioner for communication and orientation, described the minister’s claim as “blatantly false”, and that records are available to show that the governor was not absent at these meetings.
“It is unfortunate and sad that the federal government now wants to gag citizens and even a popularly elected governor from speaking truth to power and expressing himself in the light of the perilous times we have fallen into,” the commissioner said.
“The claim that governor Godwin Obaseki failed to attend the National Economic Council (NEC) meetings is blatantly false. The governor has attended all NEC meetings since the onset of this administration and records are there to prove this fact.
“The area where the minister may be referring to as non-performance should be the condition of the extensive federal roads running through the state, which the federal government has abandoned and even prevented us from intervening to repair claiming that contracts for their repairs have been awarded.”
The commissioner cited the recent achievements of the state in areas of education, agriculture and technology, adding that records of Edo state government’s performance are available for Nigerians to verify.