Edo state governorship aspirant on the platform of the All progressives Congress (APC), Gen Charles Arhiavbere (rtd) has offered an insight as to why the Edo south senatorial district holds the ace in the race for the state government house.
Speaking after submitting his N50 million worth expression of interest and nomination forms at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, he adduced the voting population of the area as basis why it must not be toyed with.
Arhiavbere assured that he enjoys the goodwill to galvanize the voting population in the entire Edo state , irrespective of their political leanings to sweep the poll.
He refered to beneficiaries of ministerial appointments held by the citizenry from both the Edo North and Central over the years to disabusethe minds of those who feel that it would amount to injustice to cede the seat of governorship of the state to any of the aspirants to succeed outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki who hails from the Edo south senatorial district.
He noted: “I think of the twelve of us and I’m the right person to answer this question, when Oshiomhole was seeking his second term i was in PDP, it wasn’t voted to any particular zone we where 12.
“In 2016 people came in and they picked themselves and in 2020 they also picked and the others voluntarily withdrew and they picked from Edo south.
“Edo south has the highest voting sketch about 15 percent, two local government in Edo south will swallow the centre, why gamble with that and weather you like it or not the speaker of edo house of assembly is from edo north, you cannot gamble with you don’t have
Edo south is where the battle crone is, but i will work to ensure all is carried along.
“But do we want that to continue? And i can assure you that i have the capacity to collapse structures of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour party in the state to guarantee an APC victory.”
He pledged to fix the infrastructural deficits, attract direct foreign investments, provide employment opportunities and secure the citizenry in the state if voted I to power at the poll.
He added: “No state in Nigeria today can say internally generated revenue can rise without bringing development partners. We have the opportunity to make Edo state safe, peaceful, using the security apparatus available to us, using internal democracy, believe in people, believe in ourselves, collaborating effectively with the federal government to ensure peace reigns in Edo state.
“Is not through vigilante, putting
arms in the hands of untrained people.I think we can do it differently, you have robotics, you have cameras, today we have drones, and artificial intelligence that can bring security to the people.
“There are some countries, they have operational rooms, anything happening anywhere it is known, these are the new technology that i will introduce that will make the people comfortable. There are so many of our children in Diaspora who want to come home, I also have some of my children when i served in Washington, and they turn to ask me every day that is Nigeria safe enough for us to come back home and i said yes come home.
“That negative presentation of this country and in our state, we have a lot of people in Diaspora who want to come home to invest, so that takes me to the next pillar of my agenda, which is the infrastructure development of my state.
“You can’t but encourage people by giving it a legal backing and on that note, i intend to take through the state House of Assembly pass a bill to approve the new state infrastructure development commission.
“This commission will be empowered to go into agreement with development partners, those who are interested in satellite towns, those who are interested in moving people out of the railroad.
“Those who are interested in tyring road, there’s no reason why you are in the states and you’re still afraid or governor will start a road in four, five years and cannot complete it.
“But the commission now different from the powers of the ministry, will accomplish it in terms of schools, in terms of vocational training centers, hospitals, these are infrastructural development platforms that our foreign partners are interested in.
“In 2012 one of the things i was very interested in is bridging the River Niger from Idah to Agenebode this project is still very fresh because as of 2017, I wanted to partner with Kogi to develop this bridge though we couldn’t raise funding, we didn’t have the necessary muscles to make it work, this is are some of the things i intend to do in Edo state.
“Infrastructure will give you money, if well arranged and there is no what i can call political will to work. Let’s now go to the economic prosperity that has to do with the people of Edo state , one of the things we have most and best in Edo state is capital, human capital.
“And how do we develop them ICT driven, Edo states is a transit state if you’re going to the east you must stop.So, this is one of the things we must do, all our children going out of school for lack of money, i think we have the capacity to make sure our children they have vocation it is not all the time you’ve done from school and get employed.
“I just left NDDC as it’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration and i discovered that we in the Niger Delta still have a lot to do of which Edo state is one of them.
“So, i think with what i have seen on ground, we can change the unemployment level, we can change the unemployment figures, we can also change and multiply the economic prosperity of women, even the development goals to fight for this.
“How do you access them if you don’t have your counterpart funding? And these are areas i intend to concentrate on, to make sure that the economic prosperity of Edo people rises from my first day of taking over the leadership of the state.”