…urges support for APC candidates
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured voters in the state of adequate security to ensure peaceful conduct of the rescheduled general elections, calling on the people to come out en masse to exercise their franchise to deepen democracy in the country.
Obaseki gave the assurance in a state-wide broadcast on Thursday, stressing that the state was committed to working with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the election is free, fair, transparent and credible.
He said, “as we know, election is the most significant ingredient of democracy and a major instrument for recruiting political leadership in democratic societies like ours. Participating in the democratic process enables the citizenry (the electorates) to freely determine who should lead them at every level of government periodically and take decisions that shape their socio-economic and political destiny; and if elected officers falter, the electorates still possess the power to recall them or vote them out in the next election.”
Noting the state government’s resolve to contribute to deepening democratic governance in the country, the governor explained, “The issue of security will be key to the success of this election, therefore any threat to peace will be taken seriously and dealt with properly. I want to assure you all that adequate security arrangements have been put in place to prevent breakdown of law and order and guarantee free and fair elections in Edo State.
“Any incidents of violence should be reported to the National Crisis Centre on telephone number: 196 or the Edo Election Crises Centre on telephone numbers: 08077773721 and 07033940263.”
He cautioned Edo residents to refrain from public statements, pronouncements, speeches and hateful conduct capable of causing violence during and after the elections, adding, “Violence-free incidents at the polling units will encourage more people to come out and vote. This will boost the dwindling ratio of voters’ turn-out in recent years in Edo State and also contribute to nurturing and the consolidation of democratic governance in Nigeria which future generations would be proud of.”
While urging support for candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Obaseki said, “2019 General Election is a crucial election to Edo people. Since I assumed office on the 12th of November 2016, all my actions, policies and programmes have been based on the agenda and manifesto of my party – the APC.
“And as I stated in my New Year Message, our success as a government has been largely based on the support from President Muhammadu Buhari. With the assistance and intervention of President Buhari, we have been able to pay the salaries of all workers in Edo State as and when due. Pension payments due to state and local government retirees are now regular, and we are clearing the backlog of pension and gratuity arrears of all workers.”
On the president’s support, he said, “President Buhari has supported and encouraged our Education reforms particularly the revamp of our technical colleges and EDOBEST, which is becoming a reference for educational transformation globally. My job creation efforts have been boosted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s N-Power initiative which has contributed over 12000 graduate jobs to the 80,000 jobs we have been able to create in the last two years mostly for young people.
“Over 30,000 Edo citizens have benefited from the Federal Government’s social intervention programmes such as Trader-moni, market-moni. With the active support of Mr. President we are currently processing applications for federal government incentives such as export processing zone licence for the Benin Industrial park which by the grace of God will receive its first tenants early next year. This is happening at the same time as we are awaiting the Federal Government to guarantee the credit facility to develop the Benin River Port.”
Noting that the major industrialisation projects by his government are driven by the President’s support, he said, “I am very optimistic that President Buhari will grant us the required approvals which we need to break the monopoly of BEDC so that Edo people can enjoy constant supply of electricity just as he did when he gave us the approvals to build the 450MW Azura plant in Ihovbor. I have gone into great lengths to highlight how much we have benefited as a state from having an APC government in Abuja which has supported our government fully. If we are able to complement the support which we currently enjoy at the Federal level with competent legislators from my party, who are committed to the Edo Agenda, I am confident that I will be able to fulfill and perhaps exceed my promises to you.”
Calling on the people to vote for APC candidates in the elections, he said, “I am therefore using the opportunity of this broadcast to solicit your support and the goodwill of all well-meaning Edo citizens to sustain the current development efforts of my government by voting all the candidates of APC. They all have a history of patriotic service. Your vote for my party APC and our candidates will guarantee that I can complete all my ongoing projects and reposition Edo State as a major state where it rightly belongs.”