Mr. Goodwin Obaseki, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo State, has assured Edo people that the state would still be great, even with the dwindling oil revenue.
He gave the assurance Friday at the party’s Edo South governorship campaign flag off, held at Uwa Primary School in Benin, the State capital.
Obaseki who recalled that Edo which was a major component of the defunct Mid-West region, was great in the 60’s, stressed that the state will be great again even without revenue oil?.
He insisted that his promise to create 200,000 jobs in his first four years in office is not just a political statement, even as he promised to build human capacity and put the people first, as well as create wealth.
In apparent reply to the governorship candidate of the PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who said that the 200,000 jobs promised by Obaseki, was unrealistic, the APC governorship hopeful said those criticising his job plan were doing so because they have never worked before.
Besides, he promised to focus on technical education, with a view to training the youths of the state to acquire skills to enable them be self-employed.
?While pledging to build on the foundation laid by Oshiomhole, the APC flag bearer said he would strengthen the school system, build more roads and other infrastructure.
“We will make sure we have a government that will use the money of the people for the people. So we will make sure that we will continue to run an open, efficient and responsible government. Edo people in the Diaspora send more money to Edo than we spend in our budget, it tells you how well our people are doing all over the world.
?”We are more interested in ensuring that Edo state is one in which the people come first. We want to make sure that our people are economically strong and the way to do it is to attract investment, industries. We will create jobs and the minimum we will do in the first four years is 200, 000 jobs.
“My priority will be women empowerment. Two months ago we gave micro loans to 15, 000 women, during my tenure that number will increase significantly. I want to assure you that along with our wives, we will not disappoint you,” he stated.
He promised to run an open, efficient and responsible government which will use the resources of the state for the people, adding: “we promise not to disappoint Edo people, we will win.”
In his remarks, the State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who described Obaseki as the brain box of his administration, urged the people to vote for him to consolidate on his achievements and ensure continuity of progress in the state, adding “I stand to guarantee that Godwin Obaseki will do even better than myself.”
In apparent response to his critics in the PDP that he failed to employ into the Civil Service in the past eight years, the Governor accused PDP of privatising the politics of the state, saying that Pastor Ize-Iyamu and Chief Lucky Igbinedion-PDP Government dismissed all Permanent Secretaries and sacked over 5,000 civil servants?, even as they also froze employment.
He said his administration lifted embargo on employment and employed the number of people it could pay.
“With Ize-Iyamu as Chief of Staff to Lucky Igbinedion, the very first executive action they took in 1999-2000, was to dismiss all the serving Permanent Secretaries in Edo state, whether they were in Edo Central, North or South.
“They did not pay them pension of gratuity. Ize-Iyamu and co sacked them because they wanted Permanent Secretaries that can help them when they award fake contracts which they will not execute. And they believe that it takes someone who you could trust to help you keep such secret.
“Over five thousand civil servants were dismissed by Ize-Iyamu and his Oga. Why did they dismiss them, they said they want to reduce cost. When I assumed office, I never looked for an in-law to make an Accountant General. My Accountant General is from Uhumwonde but Ize-Iyamu looked for his in-laws. They dismissed these workers so that they can use their money and build private universities,” he stated.
Earlier in his speech, the State Deputy Governor, Dr Pius Odubu, who urged the Binins to embrace Obaseki as their son, declared that “APC’s victory is non negotiable because the Comrade Governor has worked in the nooks and crannies of Edo state. Therefore, this is the time of punish PDP and vote Obaseki into power.”