The war of words between Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is not showing any sign of abating any time soon as the governor jumped at the opportunity to attack while reacting to a previous statement made by the former minister about their encounter during her time in office.
The former minister of Finance had on Wednesday, 2 December said that the reason for the incessant attacks on her by the Edo state first citizen is because of her refusal to grant him and his government a “dubious” loan deal that, according to her, “would have left Edo state with a heavy debt burden which the state would have found very difficult to pay back.”
But the former Labour leader is not one to let issues like that lie. The governor has responded with a scathing statement of his own, telling the former Finance Minister to go and hide her face in shame for denying the good people of Edo state the infrastructural development they so crave for.
Oshiomhole, who reacted to Iweala’s statement through his Special Adviser on Media, Prince Kassim Afegbua on Thursday, said instead of bantering words with him, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala should explain to Nigerians how come so much embezzlement and corruption was swept under the carpet in her time as minister. He also said that he awaits a letter from her lawyers perhaps, charging him for libel as he will not back down in questioning her involvement in the alleged mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy under her watch.
The statement read:
“She should be ashamed to even state that she denied Edo people infrastructure loan, when she could not redeem what was due to the state. Would there have been need for loan request if she was truly in firm control of the economy under her watch?
“Is it not ridiculous that the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy pretends to be ignorant of the sleaze and primitive looting of the nation’s treasury under her watch? Does it not prick the conscience of Okonjo-Iweala that so much financial improprieties were perpetrated right before her nose and yet she wants to be celebrated as a super Minister? Does she want to absolve herself of the abysmal performance of the economy under her watch during the Jonathan years?
“From the revelations so far and the manner in which our resources were plundered in the last administration, it is crystal clear that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was grossly incompetent to manage the nation’s economy especially on account of the huge sums of money running into billions of dollars that were stolen under her watch. Such incompetence will be further complicated if it is assumed that she looked away while some people helped themselves to the nation’s treasury. Either way, she is complicit.
“We have no doubt in our mind that, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, from all indications, has shown a remarkable attributes of a voodoo economist and one who rather than answer very simple questions by way of clarifications, easily condescend to base sentiments to divert attention. She has numerous questions to answer with respect to the management of our collective patrimony. What manner of a Finance Minister will allow huge sums of money to be withdrawn from the Central Bank of Nigeria with whimsical stroke, dealing with individuals in a way that eliminate the usual control that should be the hallmark of such body? How can a World Bank former Managing Director allow such conduct right under her watch without raising concerns?
“Those organizations which have been trying to dash her awards must as a matter procedure carry out due diligence to properly score her, else, one would have cause to suspect that such awards may have been procured. Anyone giving her award will be doing Nigeria and Nigerians a great disservice in the face of ongoing investigations and revelations that have exposed the rotten underbelly of the Okonjo-Iweala years. In the meantime, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole awaits the letter from Okonjo-Iweala’s lawyers, but she should be reminded that public officers are accountable to the people and should be ready to answer questions on their role while in office or out of it,” he lambasted.