Indigenes of Esanland in Edo Central, comprising Esan Central, Esan South-East, Esan North-East, Esan West and Igueben local government areas, are to pool efforts together towards the development and transformation of the district.
In their mission to be a leading light in terms of human resources and wealth creation, they want to use a socio-economic group, Esan Development and Transformation Initiative (EDATI), to make their dream a reality.
Consequently, they have set up some committees to deliberate on key issues of development, including education and human capital; culture and tourism; community and youth engagement; health and economic development.
The group has embarked on extensive membership, sponsorship and financial drive among Esan people and also generating resources to kick-start its projects.
Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, founder of the Trinity House, Lagos, who is the Chairman of the group, said: “Esan Development and Transformation Initiative was started by a group of Esan professionals who are concerned about Esan land and Nigeria.
“We want to come together to bring economic and social development to Esan land and to get every Esan person involved and to cooperate to harness the potentials of the area and turn the place into a different kind of environment.
“What we want to do is some research. What do we do in Esan land to build up the economy of that place? What do we need to do to benefit our people educationally, health wise, socially?
“What do we need to do to bring unity and progress to the place? And what are the things we need to do to change the thinking of the people and stem the rural to urban migration and make our people happy?
“If we know what to do and how much it cost, how do we raise the money?
“First of all, from among ourselves, we make contributions here and there.
“Second, we attract international business people to come and invest in Esan land.
“Third, we attract multilateral agencies to come and donate or provide services in Esan land.
“Fourth, we invite other Nigerian business people to come to Esan land to invest”
Dr. Dorry Afe Okojie, Vice Chairman of EDATI, said the well-being of Esan people is of paramount importance to the group and no stone would be left unturned to achieve that objective.
“The immediate past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, did his best. Governor Godwin Obaseki is doing fine too”, Okojie said.
“But more still needs to be done to transform the area and also the people. We promise not to let our people down in this mission”.
Chief Alex Adoghe, Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the group, stated: “We recognise that there is a huge segment of Esan people, especially the youths, that have been left behind in developmental process.
“We seek to develop this segment and lift them out of poverty and include them in the economic development of the state and the country.”
Gina Momoh, a member of the group, said that “in a short while we will start to see our vision materialise. I am quite confident of that.”
Mathew Ibadin, the Secretary of the group, stated: “Esan land needs to be known for something. We are visionaries who have come together to see what we can do for Esan land.
“How we can liberate our people from illiteracy; from under-development; from poverty.
“The only way this can be done is for people who are super intelligent to come together to formulate and translate ideas that will make that region great.”