The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu said on Monday that the four cardinal programmes of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN of the second republic reshaped his interest in politics and the importance of manifesto to a political party and politicians. Speaking during a live broadcast on his Facebook page on Monday to mark the commencement of a weekly online engagement which is part of the party’s adaptations to directly converse with the people on safe platforms in line with health regulations and INEC’s guidelines, Ize-Iyamu said every component of his manifesto created room for employment generation.
Seizing the opportunity of the forum to speak on his six-point agenda, the APC governorship hopeful promised to continue the program he would inherit from the current administration if he wins the election, particularly the Benin Storm Water project designed to check flooding in the state.
According to him, “When Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1978 formed the Unity Party of Nigeria, even though I was quite young, I was fascinated by the manifesto of his party – the four cardinal programmes namely: free education, free health services, integrated rural development, and employment for all. It was very easy to understand, and it was all-encompassing. And that manifesto alone made me to take an interest in the party and I became a member of the youth wing. From an early age, I appreciated the role of manifestoes in party formation; and to me, it was key in the choice of the party to belong to”.
Addressing the dire security situation in the state, the governorship hopeful pledged to dedicate more resources to combating insecurity and queried the present administration’s sincerity to securing lives and property of the citizenry. “The present government has not been able to show any serious commitment to the security funding of the state. Every month, the governor collects over N600 million as security vote and gives the police N5 million. That does not show commitment to security. Five million naira is not even enough to fuel vehicles”, he posited.
Ize-Iyamu, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, regretted that Edo State seemed the only state in the South-South that is yet to make adequate investments in technology which can be deployed to combat crime. “In this age, what is our investment in technology? Edo state might be the only state in the South-South that does not have trackers that can be used to trace kidnappers. The government must show sincerity in combating crime,” he noted with concern.
Ize-Iyamu assured that the storm water project cannot be abandoned, stating that “We must commend those who planned it even when four years ago I was contesting for office, I commended the foresight because I realised that flooding was becoming a major problem in our state and especially in Benin. There are many areas where when it rains, not only are the roads impassable, but the houses there are in serious danger. So, when the storm water was conceived and execution started, it offered a lot of hope.
“If you look at Airport Road and environ, you will know that the storm water project has been able to bring that place back to normal. These were areas before that were completely impassable. To have abandoned the project the way it has been abandoned is imprudent and wicked especially coming from a governor that was part of the administration that actually conceived the project. Afriinvest was involved in the financing of the water storm project and got a huge commission from it. How do you rationalize a governor who was part of that process to now decide that he is not interested in the project? The water storm project is a project that must be completed. We will appraise it and do it at a reasonable cost”.
On continuity of projects he would inherit from the present administration, Ize-Iyamu said “Even though it is difficult to see, if there are projects that Obaseki has started, I can assure you that we will complete them; it does not make sense to abandon projects”. The former secretary to the state government did not see why the moribund Bendel Brewery should remain in that state. In his words, “People are making money from breweries, so why will Edo State not make money from what it has? No matter the problem it has, it can be resolved. We will discuss with all those involved in the Bendel Brewery matter; it is better for the factory to be functional than for the factory to be closed”.