From Tony Osauzo, Benin
PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP’s) governorship candidate in the 2012 Edo State gubernatorial election, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (retd.), says he is the man to beat All Progressives Congress’ (APC) governorship primaries scheduled for June 18, 2016.
Airhiavbere, who defected to the APC in 2015, is one of the many aspirants, jostling for the APC governorship ticket in the September 10, Edo gubernatorial election.
“I stand before you to pledge that I am the candidate to beat because I have been tested, having contested under PDP,” he declared while speaking to journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Benin, shortly after arriving Benin from Abuja, where he obtained his expression of interest and nomination forms for the governorship primaries of his party.
He said he chose to declare his ambition for the governorship at the NUJ Secretariat because with the situation in the APC, only journalists could manage the crisis in the party.
“I want to assure that the delegates will speak on the 18th of June and they will speak loud and clear. I plead with the delegates to shun politicians’ money and vote their conscience and courage,” Airhiavbere said.
Claiming that of all the aspirants, he was the closest to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, he condemned those who claimed to have support from some quarters and warned that Edo State could not afford to toy with the destiny of its children, adding, “my destination in 2016 is Osadebey Avenue.”
The governorship hopeful, who presented a copy of his programme, titled “My covenant with the people”, to the state NUJ Chairman, Sir Roland Osakue, said he joined the APC, because he wanted Edo to remain with the government at the centre.
He congratulated Governor Oshiomhole for being the only governor to have paid workers’ salaries to date in the South-South and for raising minimum wage to N25,000.
He promised that if elected governors, he would create a conducive environment for investment that would create employment. Airhiavbvere also promised to build a bridge across the River Niger to link Agenebode with Idah and to also focus on education, the state economy, among others.