Top chieftains of the All Progressives Party (APC) including General Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, among others stormed Benin City, yesterday, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the administration of
Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the formal launch of the All Progressives party (APC) in the state.
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium was filled to capacity at a rally to climax the activities marking the anniversary, even as the Governor assured the people that his administration would focus on on the economy in the second term.
The event which also was used for the launch of the All Progressive Congress attracted the cream of top APC chieftains including the Interim Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, the national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, former Head of State, Gen Mohammadu Buhari , Audu Ogbeh, Alhaji Bello Masari and Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Oshiomhole said “the challenge is to focus on the economy. Having spent so much to build infrastructure, this is meant to create enabling environment for business to thrive. I am happy at the response we are getting. The private sector, from agriculture to palm oil, they are all coming to Edo State to set up business”.
“We have people who are coming to Edo state to set up fertilizer plant. We are refocusing on security and appreciate the role of our security agencies. Our House of Assembly have risen to the occasion and has approved death penalty for kidnappers and Edo state is no longer safe for criminals because this governor will sign death warrant as soon as it comes my way.
“We are delivering and not just talking. In our second term we have started commissioning projects. Over the past three days we have commissioned five roads and the five junction and we have more than one hundred projects to commission between now and December, you will see all the things that we have been doing with your money’
“Between November last year and November this year we have paid to major contractors about 36billion naira certificate generated from road construction, schools construction and hospital construction and we recognize that our allocation from Abuja is barely over four billion” he said.
Oshiomole declared “every month we pay to contractors about three billon naira. Edo State devotes about 85% of the federal revenue on capital projects that people can see. Our market women who were in the past used during election and abandoned, we have empowered them by giving them cash to rebuild their markets.
“Today I want to remind you of how we started. In the past Edo State was a one party state, controlled and manipulated and dehumanised by a few godfather who turned the state to a personal estate. The were celebrated not for fixing roads, electricity. Education or healthcare, but celebrated for declaring winners as losers.
“Based on my background I know that anything that is not based on truth, anyone who did not derive his power from the affection of the people, and anyone who relies on hidden instrument of coercion as a basis of compelling the people will not last.
“Today anywhere in the world every Edo man can beat his chest and say that we are responsible for the election of our steward. The security of the tenure of that steward is in the hands of the electorate. We recognize that relying the federation account will not bring development and the responsibility of government goes beyond going to Abuja to collect a check and coming back home to pay salaries”, he added.
“From Edo South to North to Central, our people are witnessing new roads, new schools, new health centres . In Esan land where they told us water is impossible; as we speak they are fetching water in Ekpoma. Everything they said was impossible, your steward, guided by your leader , we are delivering.
In a good will message, the Interim Chairman of the APC Chef Bisi Akande said Edo State people had always wanted to be counted among the progressives.
On his part the APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said Oshiomhole has made a change in the state.
“Five years ago, Oshiomhole won the election and made the people the cornerstone of his development. Ever since he started he has not looked back. Today we have witnessed a phenomenon development in Edo State”, he said.
General Muhammadu Buhari on his part said the people of Edo State have witnessed five years of tremendous development now know the difference and the people outside have also seen the difference.
He said the APC is determined to come and secure this country so that people can move, adding that the APC is also determined to stop terrorism and kidnapping when it assumes power at the centre.
The Esogban of Benin, Chief David edebiri who also spoke at the anniversary celebration said the APC is destined to win the Presidency.
He said: “the new party you people belong to, the APC is destined to rule this country. I want to say again and again that for many years to come, anybody sponsored by Oshiomhole’s party will continue to win elections in Edo State.
“I want to say that the same oracle that spoke before has again spoken that in the coming election, your party will win the Presidency. Oshiomhole is a man to be respected”, he said.