The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has asked his main rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to change his thinking about governance.
Obaseki stated this on Sunday during a debate which held in Benin City, six days to the commencement of the governorship poll where he is seeking re-election.
“The challenge my opponent and brother has is his thinking about government. That thinking is changing globally and it has to change locally,” he said.
Ize-Iyamu had criticised Obaseki over his administration’s efforts to privatize the health care sector, adding that the governor allegedly failed to replace teachers who have retired or died.
But defending his approach to governance, Obaseki said the pattern of government has changed globally.
The governor also reeled out his achievements in the last four years in the area of education, stressing that the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation earns N100 billion annually.
“Edo BEST earns N100 billion per annum with five million people. It means that budget-wise, you can only spend a maximum of 20,000 per citizen. What is 20,000 per citizen?
“So the thinking has to change such that the N100 billion you earn, you should be able to attract multiples of that into your economy so that there are more wealth and availability for your citizens.”
Obaseki’s comment was in reaction to Ize-Iyamu’s criticism of some policies of his administration in the education and health sectors of the state.
Ize-Iyamu faulted the Edo BEST programme of the state government, alleging that Obaseki has failed to replace teachers who had retired or died in service.
In addition, he knocked the PDP candidate over claims of contracting the health-care delivery system, arguing that it cannot be done.
“There are some areas that are vital sectors. For example, the governor is trying to contract out health management. That is ridiculous.
“Governor must look after the health sector, you cannot contract it out. Over 38 per cent of teachers have either retired or died. The governor has made no attempt to replace them.
“How can you have schools without teachers? So when they talk about Edo BEST, it is a joke. What is best when schools don’t have teachers,” he said.