A coalition of traders and artisans with thousands of members across the 18 LGAs of Edo State has backed the governorship bid of the candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and pledged to work for his emergence at the polls.
A representative of the coalition led by its President, Mr. Collins Ohizu, met with the APC candidate and other leaders of the party including former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in Benin City on Sunday.
In his address at the meeting, the President of the coalition, Mr. Collins Ohizu, criticized the incumbent Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for hindering business growth with the implementation of harsh policies, blockage and diversion of financial grants, and the enforcement of strangulating multiple taxations.
He said that the coalition and thousands of its members across the State are pleased with the business plans and programs contained in the SIMPLE agenda manifesto of Pastor Ize-Iyamu and will work hard to ensure he emerges victorious at the polls on the 19th of September.
In his acceptance speech, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu thanked the coalition for their endorsement and stressed the need for an open and accessible government with specific plans on how to grow the State’s economy through infrastructural and financial support for small businesses, especially in the informal sector which accounts for the most people at the grassroots level.
He highlighted the aspect of his SIMPLE agenda manifesto that covers public-private partnership and assured the traders and artisans of his readiness to implement measures that will rebuild the infrastructure of the State, make trade easier, and attract investments needed to stimulate the economy.
Ize-Iyamu condemned the incumbent government’s alleged insincerity with investment funds, citing the case of a 5.6 billion naira received by the Edo State Government for farmers in the State which was diverted, causing the farmers to stage a protest in Abuja.
He also cited the Governor’s failure to fulfill his promises to traders in the State who were victims of the poor fire service available under his watch, particularly the case of Uwelu Spare Parts market where after a fire incident, made worse by the poor emergency response, destroyed shops and trade items, the Governor visited and made promises of financial donations to the traders.
However, Pastor Ize Iyamu said when he visited the traders after and made a donation to aid their rebuilding efforts, they disclosed to him the failure of the government to offer any assistance despite the publicized promises of the Governor.
Adams Oshiomhole who also spoke at the event lamented the decay of infrastructure in the State under the watch of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his discontinuation of all progressives programs and investments made to help traders and artisans in the State.
He urged the traders and artisans to fulfill their pledge to work towards the emergence of Pastor Ize-Iyamu and “correct the error of 2016.”