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Edo 2024: Ighodalo and the ‘Prosperity for All’ Battle Cry By Etakibuebu

 

The quest to move Edo State from where it is now to a possible first world sub-national government in Nigeria has provoked a new battle cry. And it is aptly christened “Prosperity for all.” Dr Asue Ighodalo, the widely acclaimed and highly respected gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 21 governorship election is the originator and champion of the battle cry. This time, however, the battle does not involve the deployment of cudgels, daggers, bows and arrows or the more sophisticated AK 47, no. It is a battle of wits, of ideas, of vision, competence and capacity reinforced by impeccable character that is anchored on compassion and selflessness.

The new battle cry is encapsulated in the candidate’s manifesto for the September 21 governorship election in in the state. Expectedly, many have keyed in and joined the chorus since it was unveiled on Monday, June 24.

Ighodalo’s revolutionary and transformative manifesto is conceptualized in a manner to get Edo State’s people to live in consciousness of what the core objectives are and how to achieve them.

Featuring a bold and comprehensive plan aimed at transforming the state, Ighodalo’s manifesto promises a future of unprecedented growth, sustainability, and enhanced quality of life for all residents.

The manifesto is built on five dynamic pillars: Wellbeing of All People, Economic Growth, Good Governance, Security, Law & Order, and Environmental Sustainability.

Each pillar is meticulously designed to address the state’s current challenges and harness its vast potential thereby setting the stage for a new era of prosperity and progress. In a simplified form, the manifesto identifies where the state is, where it wants to be and how to get to the desired goal.

 

Let’s examine the five pillars separately:

1. Wellbeing of All People

Immediate Hardship Relief

Ighodalo’s plan to deliver targeted welfare programs, including conditional grants for the most vulnerable citizens and initiatives to ensure food security, is a game-changer. These measures will provide immediate relief and uplift the most disadvantaged, showcasing a deep commitment to social equity.

 

Healthcare Reforms

The manifesto’s promise to expand access to affordable healthcare, particularly for informal workers, market women, and transport operators, is revolutionary. By improving healthcare wages and welfare, Ighodalo aims to set a new standard for healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

 

Educational Enhancements

Ighodalo’s commitment to ensuring high-quality education for every child in Edo, drastically reducing the out-of-school population, and providing university bursaries, reflects a forward-thinking approach to human capital development. This focus on education is set to empower the next generation and drive long-term socio-economic growth.

2. Economic Growth

Inclusive Economic Agencies

The creation of Zonal Economic Development Agencies in each senatorial district is a visionary move to ensure equitable economic growth across the state. This localized approach will harness regional strengths and promote inclusive prosperity.

 

Agricultural and Industrial Development

Ighodalo’s plans to invest in sustainable agriculture, reduce post-harvest losses, and develop the Benin Enterprise Park and Benin Port Project are set to revolutionize the state’s economy. These initiatives promise to create thousands of jobs and position Edo as a major economic hub.

 

Tourism and Creative Economy

By focusing on tourism and creative industries, Ighodalo aims to diversify the economy and unleash the state’s cultural and creative potential. This strategy will not only create jobs but also promote Edo as a premier destination for cultural tourism and events.

3. Good Governance

Transparency and Accountability

Ighodalo’s pledge to govern with openness, accountability, and transparency is a testament to his commitment to good governance. Regular citizen engagement and transparent budget processes will build trust and ensure that the government works for the people.

 

E-Governance and Public Service

The manifesto’s emphasis on consolidating e-governance and promoting a motivated public service is groundbreaking. Merit-based promotions, enhanced training programs, and the integration of technology will create an efficient and responsive government.

4. Security, Law & Order

Enhanced Security Measures

Strengthening local security networks and adopting modern technologies like drone surveillance are key components of the manifesto. These measures will significantly enhance safety and security across the state, fostering an environment conducive to growth and development.

 

Community Engagement

The focus on community policing and engagement reflects a deep understanding of the importance of grassroots involvement in security. This inclusive approach will build trust and ensure that security efforts are collaborative and effective.

 

5. Environmental Sustainability

 

Ambitious Environmental Goals

Ighodalo’s plans to increase green spaces, promote renewable energy usage, and plant 500,000 trees in the first year are truly inspiring. These initiatives underscore a commitment to creating a sustainable future and addressing environmental challenges.

 

Sustainable Infrastructure Development

The manifesto’s focus on climate-friendly infrastructure and sustainable development solutions is crucial for long-term prosperity. By prioritising green development, Ighodalo aims to ensure that progress today does not compromise the needs of future generations.

 

Vision for the Future

Asue Ighodalo’s manifesto is a bold and comprehensive blueprint for a secure and prosperous Edo State. His commitment to sustainable development, economic growth, and the well-being of all residents is both visionary and actionable. By building on the achievements of past administrations and introducing innovative solutions, Ighodalo is set to lead Edo State into a new era of progress and prosperity.

The manifesto’s ambitious goals and detailed plans have been met with widespread enthusiasm and optimism. As the election approaches, the people of Edo State are eagerly looking forward to the transformative changes that Asue Ighodalo promises to bring. His visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to the state’s development position him as the leader who can truly unlock Edo’s immense potential and create a brighter future for all.

 

 

 

George Etakibuebu writes from Benin City, Edo State

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