AGAINST the backdrop of rife speculations that Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has endorsed some persons to succeed him, in the 2016 governorship election, one of the governorship aspirants, Chris Ogiemwonyi has said that Edo state has grown beyond and overcome the problem of godfatherism.
According to him, it was laughable that people would still be talking about anointing an aspirant when the Oshiomhole’s administration five years ago, spent financial resources, time and energy to propagate and entrench ‘one man one vote’ mantra in the state.
“Many people prefer to discuss things they don’t know. Oshiomhokle preached ‘one man one vote’ five years ago and we saw what happened in this state; things have changed, I must commend the people for their support. The governor buried godfatherism and our prayer is that it will never rise again in Edo state. So when I hear that the governor has anointed somebody, I laugh because I know what APC is going to do; there will be an open primary, the people decides”, he stated in an interview with The Guardian.
He disclosed that Comrade Oshiomhole has promised to ensure that free and fair primaries were conducted for the governorship election querying: “How does this amount to anointing a particular person for a position?”
“I have left my base in Abuja to be here so that I can participate in the process and since I joined APC last year, I have been following process keenly, I have not seen where the governor has defaulted, I must confess. But don’t forget that I am an apostle of transparency and what you are saying, if I sense it, I am like him, I will go to the streets, I will protest.”
He counseled against spreading rumour particularly when it affects those in position of authority, as it was capable of impacting negatively on the society especially with so many gullible people in the public.
On whether he would be able to cope given the antecedence of Oshiomhole in office, the former GMD of NAPIMS, said his period in oil and gas industry testifies to his capacity as an individual. However he said that the major concern was how to engage the teeming unemployed youths in the state, as employment was the key to moving the state ahead.
“I must commend the state government for rebranding the Okpella Cement factory. I was in NNPC, I was part of those that worked in Obajana because the gas pipeline to Obajana was done when I was the CEO of NGC. The first day I went to Obajana, when I saw the number of people working in that Cement Company, I marveled. We can re-create more of Obajana here,” he stated.
He stressed that there was need to gainfully employ the youths in order to avoid a situation where it would degenerate into a serious security challenge for the state, saying that he envisaged a car assembly plant that can employ about 3,000 youths,
“I think the in-coming government should do a feasibility study of all mineral resources in Edo state and coming from the oil and gas sector, it is one thing that I will do, to put a strong team to quickly do the feasibility; identify these resources and get capable investors to effectively tap these resources for the good of all”, he added.
The governorship aspirant who said that the desire to render service to his people motivated him to join the race, said that he was bringing integrity, accountability and good governance to the polity.
He urged Nigerians to support the anti-corruption crusade of the President Buhari’s administration saying that Nigeria was changing for good.
“What I have seen is that this is a regime preaching change and so far, being led by somebody who is an apostle of change and from what we are seeing with Mr. President, I am 100 per cent sure that this philosophy will come down gradually”, he said.