Obaseki charges PDP, other stakeholders on collective efforts to develop Edo
Having secured another victory against the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Election Petition Tribunal last week, Governor Godwin Obaseki of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has promised to concentrate on the developing Edo State to the benefit of the people and the country in general.
He also emphasised the need to join hands to develop the state in the interest of the people. On Friday, an election petition tribunal sitting in Benin, Edo State, affirmed Obaseki as the winner of the gubernatorial elections held in Edo State on September 28, 2016 over the PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The PDP candidate had challenged Obaseki’s victory, alleging widespread irregularities. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Obaseki winner of the September 28 governorship election.
The APC candidate polled 319,483 votes as against Ize-Iyamu’s 253,173 votes, defeating the PDP candidate with 66, 310 votes. Ahmed Badamosi, who led the three-man tribunal, dismissed Mr. Ize-Iyamu’s petition, saying it lacked merit.
Obaseki, has however seeks areas of improvement in all sectors of the state’s economy, to drive development. For instance, the Obaseki-led administration, unlike other states that benefited in the Paris Club refund, used part of the fund to resolve the local government’s workers salary arrears.
Obaseki had promptly resolved the arrears running into several millions that had caused a row between his immediate past predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole and the local government employees.
The governor’s decision was hailed by Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), which said the payment would bring relief to families of the council staff across Edo.
The Guardian reliably gathered that several of the local government workers received bank alerts with payment for six months out of the 10 months in some cases while others got seven months pay depending on how far the Parish Club refund could accommodate.
It would be recalled that the backlog of salary arrears had brewed dissonance between the local government employees and their council chairmen over the years in the state dating back to the days of Oshiomhole.
However, the Obaseki-led government embarked on the payment, while it was gathered that this was made possible by the application for the Paris Refund allocation accrued to the state in the first tranche.
Employees across the 18 councils expressed joy at the governor’s decision to settle the salary arrears, just as they expressed appreciation to the governor whose intervention, according to them, would enable them take up their responsibilities and meet their financial demand.
In his commitment to ending unemployment and creating jobs for Edo unemployed persons in the state and fulfill his electioneering campaign promises of creating 200,000 jobs in his first four years, the government is already matching words with action as revealed his administration’s intention to work with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in tackling employment.
While meeting with the management team of the NDE, in Benin City, the governor urged the agency to be more proactive and to apply strategies in its employment techniques. He also promised that the government would collaborate with NDE to help train necessary personnel, who would be identified in the chain of production.
Obaseki administration’s strategic approach towards creating jobs in fulfillment of his campaign promises was to first take cognizance of the state of the economy, understand the size of the problems and also identify key areas where jobs could be created.
Towards achieving the set goals of the dream of a greater Edo, the administration posited that youths, who make up the larger size of the population, would not be left out in the scheme of things in the drive for inclusive development.
The government also said that plans have ben concluded to construct link roads, with no less than 7,000 people mainly youths, who have already registered in the ongoing Edo jobs initiative to be engaged in public works to aid the construction.
The administration is also looking into developing the health and sports sectors. The governor assured that for the promotion of sustainable healthcare delivery and an eco-friendly environment for the young and old in the state, the government has earmarked 2.6 million people to get free mosquito nets. This is to kick start the roll out malaria campaign.
Obaseki gave the assurance ahead of the coming National Elimination Programme (NEP) where he emphasised that about 2.6 million people in the state will benefit in the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLlN).
While also addressing members of the Catholic Relief Services of Nigeria (CRSN) of a hitch-free exercise during the upcoming National Elimination Programme (NEP), Obaseki said the programme was timely, stressing that the people to be engaged in the state’s Agribusiness Initiative would enjoy a mosquito-free environment when the exercise fully commenced.
He added that a committee, which would work with the CRSN team, had been set up, as the country representative and leader of the team, Rebecca Bassey disclosed that six states would benefit from the global fund worth N2 billion.
Ensuring that Edo remains the citadel of sports development in the country and promoting talents in the states sport industry, the administration is poised to key into whatever form of motivation to spur sports development in the state.