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Edo 2024: Why Ighodalo is Engaging Edo Diaspora Community – By Ray Okpebholo

 

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for the 2024 gubernatorial election slated for September 21, Dr Asue Ighodalo, has been touring parts of Europe for strategic engagement with Edo State citizens. His first stop was in Italy, where he discussed his vision for a more excellent Edo State. Yesterday, he was in Manchester City, an engagement that turned into a carnival. Some of those who attended the ‘Competence over Mediocrity’ meeting were imbued with a convivial atmosphere.

Ighodalo is very much conscious of the remarkable contributions and connection between Edo State citizens in the Diaspora and the state. On that basis, he is determined to make them critical stakeholders in his government when elected. From his engagements so far, he has acknowledged the people’s role in the Diaspora’s development of the state.

 

These individuals play pivotal roles in various sectors, including agriculture, commerce and trade, cultural exchange and preservation, tourism, and direct remittance to families residing in the state. This acknowledgement has dismissed the desultory notion of ‘homeboy’ versus ‘strangers’, which some of the state’s opposition members are using to gain cheap political mileage.

Rather than this vanquished sloganeering, Ighodalo has harped on competence, capacity, hard work, vision, and creativity…which members of Edo State in the Diaspora exemplify.

The most significant reason for Ighodalo’s engagement with the Diaspora is to encourage them to continue to believe in Edo State through investments. He said he is very aware that many diasporans want to invest in Edo State but want to be assured that the enabling environment is there and that doing business is easy without unnecessary stress.

The administration of Godwin Obaseki, through several reforms, has made significant leaps in removing blockages in land acquisition and development in the state, and Ighodalo would leverage it.

As part of his manifesto, Ighodalo plans to create a more enabling environment to particularly spur diaspora investment in the state. This would be achieved through meaningful engagements and collaborations.

Another primary reason for this diaspora engagement is Ighodalo’s firm belief in and commitment to inclusivity. There is no way Edo State can be developed without leveraging the strength of those in the Diaspora and the citizens at home. Collaborations must be fostered only through purposeful engagements. Ighodalo, in his wisdom, wishes to harness the enterprise, resources and networks of the people in the Diaspora for the growth and development of the state. He hopes to achieve this through deliberate synergy between the citizens at home and those in the Diaspora.

So far, the engagements have been bearing meaningful fruits. Those citizens met in Italy, the United Kingdom, and Manchester and have shown keen interest in aligning with the vision and aspirations of the PDP candidate, Dr Asue Ighodalo. Several of them have volunteered meaningful contributions to varied versions of the campaigns.

The conversation continues in Germany on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Later, between July and August, Dr Ighodalo will be in the North Americas, where he is expected to meet Edo State citizens in that part of the world—the USA and Canada, to be precise.

 

 

Deacon Darlington Ray Okpebholo is the Director of the Diaspora Media Directorate in the Asue/Ogie Campaign Council. He is also the vice chairman and lead spokesman for the team Asue Media Organization, TAMO.

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I'm Israel, a creative writer, poet, photographer, videographer and news correspondent.
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