By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
Ahead of the September 19, 2020, gubernatorial election in Edo State, Edo indigenes in the Diaspora have thrown their weight in support of the re-election bid of the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu.
At a virtual meeting with the governor, the Diaspora community pledged to mobilise thousands of relatives and friends, resident in Edo State, to cast their votes for Governor Obaseki in the forthcoming poll.
The Zoom meeting organised by the Obaseki Joint Campaign Coalition, which comprises all Edo indigenes across the globe, was anchored by Comr. Lamptay Oriakhi Ikponmwosa, a United Kingdom-based Edo indigene and Chairman of Nigeria Community in Newcastle, and Mrs. Isoken Ibie, a Toronto-based Edo indigene and Edo Cultural Ambassador to Canada.
Oriakhi maintained that the reelection of Obaseki/Shaibu for another term will give the administration the opportunity to consolidate its sustainable development drive across the state, reassuring that the Diaspora community will hold the globe to a standstill for the governor.
Unveiling his manifesto, themed, “Making Edo Great Again (MEGA), Obaseki said: “During my quest for the office of Governor of Edo State in 2016, our country, Nigeria, was going through a major economic recession. I stated then in my manifesto which I titled: The Edo State Development Roadmap and Work Plan, that I would transform the economy of our dear state.
“And today, just as it was four years ago, my mission remains to sustain this transformation which is required to pull our people out of poverty and seek to achieve prosperity for all without exception.”
He explained that: “The commitment and focus of my team and I, is a 12-point Agenda crystallised into a MEGA Manifesto as our blueprint for Making Edo Great Again. It is a development-oriented programme of progress for Edo State with an eye on the future, and focuses on social sector (Education, Healthcare System, Pension and Social Security, Housing, Lands and Surveys); critical Infrastructure and Energy; Economy and Industralisation, Trade and Investment; Environment and Public Utilities; Peace and Security, Agriculture and Natural Resources; Public Service, Public Finance and Public Revenue; Women, Children, Youth and Sports; Law, Judiciary and Legal Reforms; Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs; Arts and Culture and Transport.”
He assured that, “The salvage mission has not changed, indeed it has become even more compelling in the wake of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which has now changed the world and created what is generally described as a ‘new normal.’”
The governor continued: “This election is about the promise of Edo. It is not just about what Governor Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have to offer Edo State, it is about how the expressions of our hopes and dreams will redefine a new Nigeria.
“Edo people are very enlightened and much more politically savvy than most of us politicians give them credit for. The last four general elections have clearly demonstrated this. Our people are articulate and outspoken about their opinions, dislikes, dreams and desires, which are now mostly expressed particularly in various social media platforms.”
Obaseki declared: “Our Mission is to make Edo great again. Our vision is that before 2050, Edo will be the best state to live and prosper in Nigeria.”