Edo Governorship Candidates Reel Out Manifesto In Debate

Edo-State-Governorship-Candidates-DebateCandidates of four political parties contesting in the 2016 Edo State governorship election on Sunday took part in a debate organised by Channels Television in collaboration with Enough is Enough Nigeria.

The candidates, Mr Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osaro Onaiwu of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Amos Areologbe of the Labour Party (LP) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), took turns to answer questions from a group of panelists.

The four candidates answered questions bordering on security, economic growth and how to tackle unemployment among others.

Asked how he would transform the economy of the state, considering the reduced allocation coming from the Federation Account, the candidate of the APC said that he would uphold the blueprint that was already on ground and being implemented by the current government of the APC.

“The foundation has been laid already by the current government of Adams Oshiomhole and that foundation is what I will build on,” he stated.

The APC candidate also explained that if elected he would further ensure diversification of the economy, exploring other sectors, including agriculture and mining of mineral resources, which he believed would also create jobs.

Mr Godwin Obaseki denied claims that he is the current governors puppet

Mr Obaseki, who had been in the banking and investment banking sectors, said he would empower the Agriculture research institutes in the state to further deepen the state’s involvement in agriculture.

On claims that he was imposed on the people of Edo State, he stated that talks that he would be controlled by the current governor was unfair, as he had been part of the Edo revolution since 2009.

“I have been part of the Edo project to renew Edo State which had been run down by the previous administration.

“Over the last seven and half years, the evidence is clear from what we have done – how we have rebuilt Edo State, how we have rebuilt infrastructure, rebuilt the educational system in the state and restored order, accountability and transparency on how government is run.

“To talk about a remote control in an administration where I and my colleagues designed a blueprint for Governor Oshiomhole is not being fair. I am not going to be remote controlled,” he stressed.

There is about 70 per cent unemployment level in the state and Mr Obaseki said that he would create more jobs for the unemployed through agriculture and other sectors which he would explore.

Security was another issue that the candidates were asked to speak on and Mr Obaseki said that “Edo State is one of Nigeria’s most secured states”.

He said that the current administration and the police had explored the use of technology in tracking kidnappers in order to check kidnapping in the state, which was on the increase some years back.

Mr Ize-Iyamu said he has managed his business well and could manage the affairs of Edo State

On his part, the candidate of the PDP, Mr Ize-Iyamu, said that his policies would focus on diversification of the state’s economy to increase output in agricultural produce, mining of solid minerals and building necessary infrastructures that would draw more foreign-direct investments.

“We need to diversify the economy of the state. There is too much dependence on allocation and it became even worse in the past seven to eight years.

“Agriculture is not funded by the present state government. Edo State was very good in tree crops.

“We have two research institutes here because of our experience in agriculture,” he stated.

He also claimed that there was corruption in the management of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.

“If we ensure that government money does not go to private coffers, a lot more money can come. We must consider solid minerals, industries and even housing. Lagos State generates a lot of its wealth from its land.

“All we need to do is to invest in our land, create infrastructure and sell that land like a premium,” the PDP candidate further said.

He claimed that the present government had excelled in wealth consumption and not wealth creation.

On security, he said that he would improve the security of the state by ensuring that the security vote for the state was adequately utilised.

Mr Ize-Iyamu accused the present government of using a very small amount from the security vote for security of the state, insisting that the funds were being embezzled.

“Security votes should not just be money for the governors to play with, it should be used for security reasons,” he insisted.

On his part, the candidate of APGA said he would add to his policies a “model that is working in Anambra State”, another state ruled by his party.

Mr Osaro Onaiwu said agro economy needs infrastructure to grow

He dismissed claims that his party was a party of the Igbo ethnic group, saying that “they [his supporters] know that the model that I am bringing to the state is working in Anambra State”.

On his economic plan and the avenues he would explore to increase the state’s revenue, he said that if elected, his administration would look at getting more investors into the different sectors of the state’s economy, with focus on agriculture.

“The APGA model which is ongoing in Anambra State is working.

“We are exporting Ugwu (pumpkin) leaf and other vegetables in Anambra State. The State is producing rice as we speak. It is not about propaganda. The template is already in Anambra and it is working.

“Agro-economy is number one,” he emphasised.

Amos Areologbe says Labour Party will revive dead companies to create jobs

Mr Areolegbe of the Labour Party said that he would reduce dependency on crude oil and shift attention to the creation of industries.

“We have what it takes in Edo State to generate revenue for ourselves.

“We will encourage inventors and innovators to create jobs for the unemployed,” he said.

The Labour Party candidate also promised to revive the dead companies in Edo State.

He also reeled out the party’s policy in the agriculture sector, saying that the party would make the sector attractive for young persons to go into.

See entire videos of the debate below.

PVC Distribution: INEC Decries Poor Response In Abuja

PVCsNational Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Chris Iyimoga, has appealed to residents of Abuja to come for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC), before the deadline of March 8, 2015.

The former Director of FCT Council for Arts and Culture, who spoke after an inspection of some collection centres in the Federal Capital Territory, decried the low turn out of residents to collect the cards.

Some residents of Abuja had condemned the ongoing collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in the Federal Capital Territory for what they called “inadequate awareness and sensitisation of the public”.

Some of the residents said that they got to know about the exercise when they saw people gathering at Polling Units, while a resident complained that he could not find his name on the collection list.

“The information was not well circulated, the awareness was low and I did not hear about it at all. I was on my way to work when I saw a crowd.

“I decided to check out what was happening and discovered a board has been put up with incomplete names,” he said.

However, Dr Iyimoga has stressed that only seventy-one per cent (71%) of the Permanent Voter Cards had been collected.

He urged the residents of the Federal Capital Territory and its environs to go to their Polling Units to collect their Permanent Voter Cards in order to vote the candidates of their choice in the coming general elections.

Fashola Credits Improved State Public Service To Change Of Attitude

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN)
Governor Babatunde Fashola

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday, that “Lagos is working” because of the change of attitude and dedication to work in its Public Service.

Governor Fashola made the observation at a Pens-Down ceremony held in Alausa, in honour of the retiring Head of Service, Mrs Josephine Oluseyi Williams.

Governor Fashola expressed joy that the State Public Service had removed the word “impossible” from its vocabulary, emphasising that such resolve underscored the fact that the people could change anything that did not work for them.

“Whenever Lagos residents acknowledged the State’s law enforcement agencies, the fire fighting capacity of its Fire Service or the efficiency of its Public Service delivery, I always reminded them that the personnel of the agencies were not changed “but only changed their attitude and renewed their dedication,”  he said.

Fashola maintained that with the right attitude and the appropriate dedication to work, nothing would be impossible for any institution in Nigeria.

“When I meet people outside now and they tell me that the face of the Lagos State Public Service is changing for the better, I take that compliment with a lot of inward pride even though I know that the work is not finished,” the Governor added.

This Cup Would Pass

Fashola also noted that the State’s Public Service has earned the support of the public that it serves, reiterating that earning such support was only half of the journey, as keeping it was the real deal.

He explained further that Lagos did not earn such public support by sloganeering, by pronouncing transformation or by a vision that changed every minute.

Governor Fashola, who entitled his address at the ceremony “This Cup Would Pass”, stressed that Nigeria was being forced to drink from a very bitter cup, adding that the cup would eventually pass.

“Even though we gather to celebrate and honour the Public Service, some of the things that we see now raises several questions and the difference between good and bad is becoming very difficult to tell,” he said.

The outgoing Governor also added that governance was not necessarily about building roads and bridges or about proving jobs but also about very high moral authority.

Advising those who regard the appointment of women into leadership positions as their achievement to look beyond their narrow confines, the Governor stated that “when you look at the Permanent Secretaries in Lagos State, the Magistracy, the leadership of parastatals and the Judiciary, you will see that leadership responsibility for women in Lagos is a way of life.

“So if some people think they are doing women a favour and consider it an achievement, they are living in a different world. Here, it is already a way of life.”

In her response, after signing off her personal file in the Public Service and receiving a Certificate of Service from the Governor, Mrs Williams said her choice of the public service was primarily based on the desire to fulfill a dream of touching lives and making some modest contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria.

Urging public servants to remain focused at all times and in all situations, she reminded them that the decisions they made in the course of service would go a long way in shaping the society.

Delta State Candidates Sign Peace Accord

peaceCandidates contesting for different elective positions on the platform of different political parties in Delta State have signed a peace accord to honour the interest of democracy.

The Delta State peace accord meeting was held on Wednesday in Asaba, the state capital.

The peace accord, which was packaged by the Delta State Police Command to ensure peace before, during and after the general elections, was well attended by top security chiefs in the Police, Army, SSS and other sectors at the state capital.

Speaking at the event, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5, Mr Musa Daura, said that it was important for peaceful elections to be achieved, emphasising that “we must all be in the vanguard for a credible and acceptable electoral process.”

Daura also said that the security has resolved to provide an electoral environment free of intimidation, saying politicians should play the game by the rules bearing in mind that they are sportsmen; he urged all to shun criminal and electoral violence before, during and after the elections.

The governor, who presided over the signing described the shift in dates of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as laudable and in their interest.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Alkali Baba Usman in an address said that they must not agree alone, but equally realize the need to be more democratic in the conduct of political activities within the ambit of the law, with a view to ensuring peace, understanding and respect for one another.

Speaking to journalists after the signing, some candidates mentioned that the reason behind this act was for a free and fair elections, void of violence.