BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN – EDO State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) has assured that he will complete on-going projects across the state within his first year in office if voted into power come July 14, 2012.
Besides, the Chairman of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr. Sunday Kpatako and several ACN members have defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ahead of the election.
Spokesman for defectors, Mr. Princewill Otiegbe, lamented that his former party , ACN did not follow due process while carrying out its activities, promising that they would work to ensure PDP won a resounding victory in the area in the forthcoming governorship election.
Meanwhile, Gen. Airhiavbere who was in company of the PDP State Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih and other party leaders spoke at rallies in Anegbette, Ekperi, Fugar and Ogbona and assured the people that his desire was to ensure the state was developed to unbelievable standards.
He posited that “rural transformation is the bedrock of development in a state. When we come on board, we’re declaring emergency on security, health and education which we will make sure also trickle down to our rural communities”.
“But it pains me that in the 21st century, you are still being promised electrification of your area, provision of portable water, construction of health centres, schools and creation of employment opportunities especially for teachers and for our youths when these should have been provided you a long time ago as your rights and benefits from government”.
He disclosed that Edo State was 7th amongst states with the highest federal allocation as an oil-producing state but was now ranked 9th in the list of poorest states due to fund mismanagement, poor project priority listing, executive laziness and carelessness, insensitivity and inability of previous governments to recognize doing-business-indicators that Edo state was endowed with.
Airhiavbere who promised to conduct local government elections when elected into office attributed the failure of the incumbent governor to conduct local government elections in the state as responsible for poverty in the state.
At Anegbette, he promised to construct Osomegbe Road and link roads in the area to enable people transport their produce to urban areas, a plan he believed would improve the economy of the state.
Earlier, Chief Dan Orbih presented the party flag bearer and his running mate Hon. Johnson Abolagba to royal fathers in the areas for blessings ahead of the 14 July gubernatorial poll.
Royal fathers in attendance include the Egiegbai 11 of Ekperi, Alhaji Yakubu Kanoba, the Ovie Avianwu of Avianwu, HRH Joseph Etu and the Okpe-Ukpi of Ogbona, Chief Willy Idode. Gen. Airhiavbere expounded his government’s manifesto and promised to bring good leadership to their kingdoms.
At Ogbona, Chief Orbih commissioned a 4.7 kilometre earth road (Okoto Road) which was single-handedly funded by him as his individual social responsibility to his people.
In his speech Chief Orbih called on non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies and public-spirited individuals to emulate the gesture and work to ameliorate the sufferings of the people. His Royal Majesty, the Okpe-Ukpi of Ogbona, his chiefs, Gen. Airhiavbere and high ranking PDP leaders joined Chief Dan Osi Orbih in the cutting of the tape to mark the commissioning of the new road.