Fellow Edos, at home and in the diaspora, it is with a great sense of history, conscious of the responsibility of leadership toward our people, that I extend my gratitude to all who have participated in this historic primaries which present us an opportunity to change the destiny of our people for good for all time.
I hereby extend a hand of fellowship to my fellow contestants and I call for party unity. Beyond our personal quests, the yearning of our people for great governance must tower above everything else. We are stronger when we unite.
I salute all the elders of our party and all the party officials who have worked tirelessly to make the primaries a successful event.
Today, I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us, our forebears who went through great challenges to establish us as a people, spreading the fame of the Benin Empire all the way through Yoruba land, Cotonou, Togo and to present-day Southern Ghana.
That is a heritage of which all of us should be very proud, and one, any person, aspiring to office in this land should be very aware of, and to accept as a challenge, that we cannot be less than those who came before us.
North, South or Central, Christian or Muslim, we the people of Edo State are one. We share a common heritage. We come from a long line of great Kings and great achievers, one of the most prominent of whom was King Ewuare the great (Ogidigan) Uku Akpolokpolo, one of the world’s most illustrious ancient Kings who during his reign, consolidated, developed and expanded the kingdom through innovative leadership ideas, closely knit, disciplined community organization, warfare and conquests.
In modern times, we have had equally illustrious leaders in Edo State from the days when it was known as the Midwestern region, then Bendel and now Edo. I pay tribute to each and everyone on all sides of the political divide as they built, block upon block to get us where we are today.
With the experience I have gathered through the years, in government and from the private sector, I know how to fight for you and I am determined to fight for you.
I will fight to make sure we have the best trained, best equipped and best motivated teachers in the country; In order to do this, first we must revive our teacher training colleges.
I will fight to bring our children into the digital age. They must be able to compete with their mates around the world.
I will fight to ensure that we evolve the best Healthcare Industry in Nigeria and bring medical tourism to Edo State. Maternal mortality and infant mortality which currently stands at over 17% nationally is unacceptable and must be reversed.
We will give value to our Healthcare workers to make them the envy of the rest of Nigeria. I will fight to industrialize Edo State by revolutionizing Agriculture, which has the longest value chain to provide jobs for our teeming youth population. Focused attention on Agriculture is the cure to unemployment. We will create cluster farm settlements in all Senatorial zones across the state and establish commodity marketing boards to purchase all produce which will be channeled for further processing within the state to add value and create in the process, hundreds of thousands of jobs.
We must create jobs to reduce crime and I will be tough on crime. We will launch a –SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING (SSSS) campaign across the State to ensure that criminals find our state an unbearable place to do business.
I will fight to restore the dignity and pride of our young women. In partnership with NGOs in the State, country and across the world, we would ensure that the average Edo woman is as resourceful, efficient and productive as women in the most advanced countries.
I will fight to ensure that our senior citizens do not slide into poverty in retirement;
I will fight to ensure we run a government that is inclusive across religion and tribe.
Today, I ask for your support.
I have come to serve.
This election unlike many before now is happening in a time of extreme hardship as poverty stalks the land. The question you must ask now is this; which candidate has the best plans to help put food on the table by providing jobs for the people of Edo State? How do they plan to provide the jobs?
I have come to give you hope but I also have a plan. It is called the SIMPLE agenda. Please, TRUST ME. I am a farmer. We can grow enough food to feed our people in Edo State and send food to other parts of Nigeria. That is a promise I am committed to. TRUST ME.
Thank you. God bless all of you. God bless Edo State and may God bless Nigeria. #TheFutureisNow Take it.