The Thinkers next politico provided the candidates for the election now billed for Wednesday, September 28, to reel out their manifestoes and tell the students why they should vote them as their Governor.
Both Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu were hosted at different sessions to unveil their roadmaps for the state. The program themed “why me” which took place at the school’s peniel chapel saw the candidates answer questions on their programs and policies on health, security, human resource development, job creation and industrialization, education, housing, agricultural/rural development, as well as transportation and infrastructure.
Giving his welcome speech, the President of Benson Idahosa University, Bishop Feb Idahosa who functioned as the moderator of the program said the program was organized is to make the students politically knowledgeable to think and address issues and also develop the spirit of democracy.
The two-day political event had the APC, Godwin Obaseki present to answer the question “Why You” at the first day of the program.
According to him all he wanted was to pay to serve and never wanted to be paid to serve, adding that he was in the race for the purpose of continuinty Speaking further he said, as a member of the Economic team of the outgoing administration, there is no better time to serve than now.
Obaseki, a wealth management expert of over 30 years experience, promised to create over 200,000 jobs through agriculture and its value chain, saying the state would become the driver of the country’s food production if he emerged governor.
This is even as he added that jobs aren’t created by government but by their good policies been laid.
“Many Edo people will generate wealth by keying into our value chain development of Oil Palm, Cassava, Cocoa, Grains, Rubber, Fruits and Vegetables. We will create jobs within the next 4 years,” he said.
The investment banker said he should be voted into power because having served in the current administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, his team already has a blue print of what Edo state should look like, saying “and we need to continue to make sure that we are an education hub and produce the best man power in the country.”
He added that his government will make Edo State an investment destination by creating an enabling environment for public private partnership (PPP).
“There is so much we have done and we need someone who understands to continue in that trajectory,” said he. On his part, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu of the People’s Democratic Party said that he is in the governorship race because he is deeply concerned about the happenings in the state.
Ize-Iyamu who appreciated the school for fostering democracy said that he is more than qualified to rule the state with the amount of experience he gathered while in power.
“I am not contesting because I am concerned or passionate but because I also have the experience to change things for better in the state,” he said.
On job creation, he said investments in industries would however transfer to jobs. He alleged that the government has not really been creative in their dealings as they have only depended on payments of taxes and allocations from Abuja.
He however assured that the repairs of the University road would be a priority and would be done immediately if elected “The more attractive we make Benson Idahosa University, the better it is for the state, and we will make BIU Road a priority,” he said Ize-Iyamu promised an Edo state different from the present one, making right the wrongs of a present bad government.
He noted that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) will grow through strategic investment, rather than multiple or increased taxation.
He further stated that if voted into office, his administration has plans to invest in a film village, railway station, expand the Benin Airport in order to make it of international standard, and embark on massive road construction in order to drive the state economy.
The candidates also took time to respond to questions from the University’s management, as well as the students. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Ernest Izevbigie, however, thanked the aspirants for having honored the university’s invitation and promised to work with them in the future.
The International Leadership Idea Exchange (ILIX), ‘Thinkers’ Nest, is a platform created by the President, Bishop F.E.B Idahosa, to bring together thought leaders, industry experts, practitioners, researchers, and young innovators to dialogue and proffer solutions to global issues.
Present at the first edition of ‘Thinkers’ Next were Prof. Pat Utomi, Leke Alder, Uriel Palti, Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria among others.