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Senator, government differ on alleged loan for election

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Senator Matthew Urhoghide

Senator Matthew Urhoghide

Senator Matthew Urhoghide, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo South Senatorial District, has alleged that the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole used the $75 million World Bank loan to finance the upcoming election.

Urhoghide, who is the Director General of the Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s campaign organisation, said it was ironical that this was so in the face of Oshiomhole’s castigation of the opposotion over similar allegations.

He said while Oshiomhole daily castigates the Goodluck Jonathan administration for using security votes to fund a presidential election, he has been busy sharing the World Bank loan designed for developmental projects to fund a governorship election.

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But Edo State Commissioner for Information, Kassim Afegbua denied the allegation, saying it was impossible to divert a loan made available for development projects by a reputable organisation such as the World Bank.

“World Bank loan is an infrastructural loan tied to specific projects. You can’t take from the World Bank and spend it on election; it is not possible. But with the PDP, anything is possible. If they can spend Nigeria’s savings, why won’t they think like that?

“At first, Edo PDP chairman, Dan Orbih said we used black market to change the money. Now, a senator from a padding National Assembly is telling us another story. I think they are confused,” he said.

Uroghide had said in an interview with journalists that the Oshiomhole’s administration has plunged the state into debt in excess of $500 million, pointing out that the PDP in the state was computing the total sum of loans so far collected.

“He said he was going to create jobs in the private sector with the first tranche. Jobs were not created. He said he was going to use it for industrial development in the private sector, but he didn’t do it. I believe he stole the money and misused it.

“The money he is collecting is for election. I believe Oshiomhole is sponsoring this election from the second tranche of the $75 million World Bank loan. That is over N20 billion at the present exchange rate,” he alleged.

He added: “What we owe is in excess of $500 million. If you have collected $75 million twice, that amounts to $150 million from the World Bank. The thing is in three tranches and it is actually $225 million.”


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