‘I want to take Edo people to the promised land’
Arc. Ilenre Austin Emuan is a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State. He speaks on his governorship ambition, challenges facing the State and other issues.
What propels you into the Edo governorship race?
I want to take Edo people to the Promised Land through industrialisation. I have freely offered myself for selfless service to my people. My ambition is borne out of my sheer conviction and optimism that someday, the ugly situation of our people should be addressed from where they are now to where they desired to be. I will take due advantage of my pedigree and personal experiences to realise this target objectives.
In my career and humanitarian efforts to give ‘a cold cup of water to assuage thirst’, I had always come across abject poverty and the poor living conditions of majority of my people. This I am determined to employ all available comparative advantages at my disposal to deal with.
Acute poverty is not only unsafe for the poor, but to all the citizenry and drives home the saying that: “When the poor are awake as a result of hunger, the rich wouldn’t sleep, because the poor are hungry and awake.”
How do you intend to tackle poverty in the State?
I am most worried about the wellbeing of Edo people. On the other hand, majority of our people are also to be blamed for allowing their individuality and their collectivity to be so misled, yet they do very little or nothing to stop the bondage.
There is something good to cheer about now. I must say that for the past eight years or so, Edo people have gone a long way striving to reverse the ugly situation. Yes, the people made a great leap to shake off this yoke.
How do you intend to bring change to the State if elected governor?
Certainly, all that the Edo people should now do is to shake off a pastime of resistance and migrate to a higher level of productive and development realism.
The best and unique way to achieve it is through distributive development that must be organic in nature. To this end, economic activities will be created around natural endowments as peculiar to communities and or senatorial districts. This is only possible by bringing on board a truly development-oriented governor in 2016 to lead us to a political and socio-economic virility, where the common people will turn their creativity and energy into a profiting collaboration with government.
Turning the State around to a productive state and a shining example to the other 36 States of the country, and the world at large, is not rocket-science. It is do-able, with our collective God’s gifts and resolve provided it is supported by the people. The timeless history of the Edo people, in the ever-changing worldwide view, is replete with many ‘feats and firsts’.
Before the past colonial eras, the old Edo nation had been widely and aptly called ‘Centre of Black Civilization’ and other titles, because of its unmatched creative arts and culture, ingenuity and willpower. While the Edo nation was warlike and had conquered and annexed territories in and beyond modern-day Nigeria, its fame soared and soared around the world. It is rather so till date.
The issue of unemployment in the State is worrisome. What are your plans towards it?
When I am elected as the governor, I will usher in an all-inclusive and people-oriented era where the people and government take the front-seat in the decision making and implementation process. Because I am a student of politics and not power, I will lead and be led. Edo is also uniquely located; her geographical indices and indicators earn her many comparative advantages. it is the link-in-chain between South-western Nigeria to the east, South-south and South-east to the key North central and the far Northern states.
The state is endowed with significant agricultural, mineral, marine and forest resources. The state is very rich in natural endowments including: multiple vegetation zones, plentiful rain, surface water and underground water resources and moderate climate. These allow for production of diverse food and cash crops. Meanwhile, one can hardly achieve meaningful growth where unemployment, youth restiveness, tribal differences, unhealthy democratic practices and other social vices are on the rise.
With the necessary mechanism in place to transform our prejudices into values and our values and aspirations into socio-economic solutions, there is no doubt that the people will get a new leisure of life where wealth will not only be created but peace, unity and progress will become synonymous with ‘Edo and we will remain one.’ With my experience in agriculture and development, I believe the youths have lots to be engaged on.
How would you involve the Local Councils of the State in your developmental plans?
We have 18 Local Council in Edo State. Each local government consists of communities that are culturally and ethnically bound and are a reservoir of natural resources that can be jointly exploited. Also, our people are known for their individual self-confident traits and this attitude is what makes them excel. The Local Council will be the arm driving our Edo Village Economic Renewal policy aka…
Yours ever’’ and will be backed up with ambassadorial training and programs. An inside-outside approach ensuring that development radiates from the core to other parts of the state like a ripple effect. Unfortunately, we are still not sufficiently mobilised to harness the individual industriousness into a collective success. This is why I am making myself available for the position of a governor; I am in the best position to shepherd our dear Edo state to the Promised Land.
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