By Ojieva Ehiosun
Amid growing concerns in certain quarters over Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s preference for one of the candidates in the race, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Henry Idahagbon, has said that political jobbers and scavengers will not succeed the comrade governor after the expiration of his tenure in November, 2016.
The former P D P chieftain averred that the present economic situation in the country demands that Edo State elects an expert, saying he must be someone that can prudently manage, sustain, improve and build on the existing foundation that Governor Oshiomhole has laid down.
“When people talk about imposition, I do not really understand the angle they are coming from; look, governance is not just bread and butter thing, or just wearing the crown of a governor without necessarily knowing what it entails. With due respect to our comrade governor, Adams Oshiomhole, he once told us in a meeting that if he had known that the Nigeria economy will dwindle and fall to this level, that he won’t have bothered coming back the second term, that he would have just served one term and leave. Edo State as it were, and considering the present economic situation in Nigeria, we need a vibrant economic expert and a prudent manager with the world economic sense that can help manage the state economy. It is not about Adams Oshiomhole, nor about Godwin Obaseki, nor Pius Odubu; it is about the state and the wellbeing of the people. We do not need a political guru, or someone that has built a political estate to be governor; it is about good governance, ability to manage the economic resources of the state without necessarily waiting for allocation from Abuja before he can execute a simple project. So, the governor’s choice of Godwin Obaseki is not a wrong one, the governor being a man with sound knowledge of management must have weighed all other aspirants before going for a man that is coming from the economic world. I am not saying that other aspirants do not have what it takes to rule the state, but we are talking about prudent management, so for Obaseki, me and all my followers in my locality have decided to throw our weight behind him and also work towards his success at the polls.
You will agree with me that when Bola Ahmed Tinubu projected Raji Babatunde Fashola, for Lagos State governor, people did not believe in him, and nobody knew him but lo and behold, Fashola is rated as the best governor in Nigeria today. Our people have to change their mentality about Godwin Obaseki. He has all it takes to lead Edo State to its glorious days in all ramification of life,” he added.
Wrong candidate may rob APC victory –Okonoboh
As the battle to succeed Oshiomhole intensifies in Edo State, a member representing Igueben Constituency at the Edo House of Assembly,
Dr. Justin Okonoboh, has expressed fears that Edo State stands the risk of losing the state to the opposition party, PDP, if AP C refused to put its house in order.
The lawmaker who however debunked reports making the rounds that he is working against Governor Oshiomhole’s candidate, said he owned it as a duty to be fully involved in the positive politics of the state. He stressed that he is not working against any candidate, but supporting the candidate he feels that can do it better for the people of Edo state.
“I’m afraid we may lose Edo State if proper care is not taken; as a politician and law maker representing the interest of my people at the House, it is my duty to defend my people and belong to a group that can favour my people. At my age, it would be foolish of me to shy away from the truth. With respect to the comrade governor, he has done so well for the people of this state, and he should be commended for it. He must be seen to play a fatherly role and create room for all the aspirants to test their popularity before the people. Every aspirant should be his candidate and should be treated as one. As it is now, there is problem in our party because the people seeking to step into his shoes are all politicians of high repute and are all known for their developmental roles in state building. How many candidates can the governor settle to step down for one person? This is why the party leaders must work to see that every aspirant is giving equal opportunity to take part in the primaries. I support the duty governor because I know he has something to offer our people. For example, my local government is lacking so many things; I need somebody that we can reach, somebody that has a listening ear. Everybody cannot support one candidate; we are all working for the good of our great party. I cannot be intimidated”, he said.
Obaseki advocates functional education to enhance productivity
All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant for the September 10 election in Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has advocated for a functional educational system that is practical-oriented to engender productivity rather than the theoretical education which the country operates.
He made the call while speaking on the theme: “The Role of The Youth in Governance” at a forum put together by Street-to-Street organization in Benin.
He suggested that the school curriculum should be properly written to embrace the teaching of vocational studies in our institutions of learning both in the secondary and tertiary levels to enable school leavers to be self-sufficient after graduation and to reduce the unemployment situation in the country as it is obtainable in other climes.
“We should change our orientation, we should change our curriculum, make sure that education is for a purpose; not everybody needs to go to university because going to a university does not make you employable, does not make you self-sufficient”, he said.
Mr. Obaseki said if elected, his administration would concentrate on the empowerment of the youths by engaging them in agriculture, using the vast available acres of land in the state.
According to him, for the state to overcome the challenges of unemployment, there must be adequate information and knowledge of the database of the youths, adding that he would put such data in place as soon as he takes over the mantle of leadership of the state.
Speaking on the essence of the interactive session with the governorship aspirant, one of the brains behind the Street- to-Street initiative, Comrade Israel Joe, said it has come to a point where leaders vying for political offices are called to intimate their electorate on their objectives and prospects.
He said with the street-to-street organization in place, the body would be able to ensure that those who are seeking elective positions are not the old and feeble ones but those who have the mental, physical and intellectual capacity to drive development in the state.
“The whole brain behind organizing the role of the youth in governance is to ensure that we do not get people that are already fifty and seventy holding youth positions where there are vibrant youth that have the capacity of leadership to handle these various matters”, he said.
I’m most worker-friendly aspirant –Edebiri
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Chief Solomon Edebiri, has declared himself the most worker-friendly contestant, promising to make the welfare of workers a priority if elected into office.
The aspirant while encouraging other PDP governorship aspirants to avoid unhealthy rivalry among themselves, also advised them to warn their supporters from making provocative remarks against rival aspirants.
Edebiri, who spoke with journalists in Benin at his campaign office, said as a former factory worker, he understood the plight of workers more than any governorship aspirant in Edo State, promising to devise a system that will elevate and recognize workers.
According to the aspirant who is the president of the Nigerian Institute of Welding, the only solution to addressing the plight of long suffering Edo workers was to have a truly labour-conscious governor, adding that workers will never suffer under his watch.
He regretted the collapse of factories in Edo such as the Bendel Brewery, Bendel Pharmaceuticals, Bendel Insurance and Edo Line, declaring that his government will revitalize the dead companies and embark on industrialization of Edo State.
He said failure to nominate and elect a labour-conscious aspirant will further prolong the sufferings of Edo workers adding, “enough is enough of electing people who get into office and treat workers like slaves.”
“We must upgrade skills, knowledge as well as develop capacity building to advance workers productivity. We must develop the potentials in agriculture to tackle poverty and boost the economy in the face of the dwindling oil price”, he said.
Odubu debunks step-down rumour
Stories from Tony Osauzo, Benin
Contrary to rumours making the rounds that the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu is under pressure to step down and dump his ambition, the APC guber aspirant is resolute on his decision to run.
There have been media reports of alleged plot by Dr. Odubu to hire native doctor to kill Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Though the alleged plot has been vehemently denied by the Deputy Governor, one of his aides told Edo Guber Watch that the allegation is part of a design to create sympathy for Oshiomhole and his preferred aspirant and cast Dr. Odubu in bad light in the minds of delegates and the general public.
“This strategy will fail because Edo people know the truth and can read between the lines. They are politically conscious and wise”, he said.
Meanwhile, another of the Deputy Governor’s aides who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Edo Guber Watch that his boss is not under any pressure from any quarter to discard his governorship ambition. “He is not under pressure. No one has told him to step down for anybody. That is not the contemplation of the Deputy Governor at all; he will run”, the aide said.