Edo Guber: I’ll Bring Development Partners To Transform Edo, Says Athiavbere

Gen. Charles Athiavbere
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By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

A governorship aspirant on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Gen. Charles Athiavbere, has said he would bring development partners to transform Edo state if elected governor.

The governorship hopeful stated this while addressing APC correspondents at the APC media center, after submitting his governorship nomination form at the party’s National Secretariat Abuja.

Arhiavbere said: “This 2024 is my fourth appearance in the gubernatorial race. I have done that three times on the platform of the APC and once on the platform of PDP. I was the candidate of the PDP in 2012 and I left PDP to join the APC.

I joined the Nigerian Army as a boy soldier after passing entrance exam 1968. I started my career January 1969 by 2008 I was promoted Major General after navigating through the process of going to the ranks, different appointments, moved from Apapa as head of different sections, worked in the Nigerian Defense Academy Director of Finance, worked in an embassy in Washington as Deputy Defense Attache, rose to become the head of Nigerian finance corps. I commanded the corps till 2010 and was posted to National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies as director of studies. That was the time I joined politics.”

The General continued: But I will give you an insight into what I will do differently. There is no nation or state that can develop on his own without inviting development partners.

“No state in Nigeria today can say internally generated revenue can rise without bringing development partners.

“We have the opportunity to make Edo state safe, peaceful,

using the security apparatus available to us, using internal democracy, believe in people, believe in ourselves, collaborating effectively with the federal government to ensure peace reigns in Edo state. It is not through vigilante, putting  arms in the hands of untrained people.

“I think we can do it differently. You have robotics, you have cameras, today we have drones and artificial intelligence that can bring security to the people. 

“There are some countries, they have operational rooms, anything happening anywhere it is known. These are the new technology that I will introduce that will make the people comfortable.”

He added: “There are so many of our children in diaspora who want to come home. I also have some of my children when I served in Washington, and they turn to ask me every day: “Is Nigeria safe enough for us to come back home? and I say: “Yes, come home”. 

“That negative presentation of this country and in our state, we have a lot of people in Diaspora who want to come home to invest. So, that takes me to the next pillar of my agenda, which is the infrastructure development of my state.

“You can’t but encourage people by giving it a legal backing and on that note, i intend to take through the state House of Assembly, pass a bill to approve the new state infrastructure development commission. 

“This commission will be empowered to go into agreement with development partners, those who are interested in satellite towns, those who are interested in moving people out with the railroad. 

“Those who are interested in tarring  road, there’s no reason why you are in the state and you’re still afraid a governor will start a road in four, five years and cannot complete it.

“But the commission, different from the ministry, will accomplish it in terms of schools, in terms of vocational training centers, hospitals, these are infrastructural development platforms that our foreign partners are interested in.

” In 2012 one of the things I was very interested in is bridging the River Niger  from Idah to Agenebode. This project is still very fresh. As of 2017, I wanted to partner with Kogi to develop this bridge though we couldn’t raise funds, we didn’t have the necessary muscles to make it work, these are some of the things i intend to do in Edo state.

“Infrastructure will give you money, if well arranged and there is what i can call political will to work.

“Let’s now go to the economic prosperity that has to do with the people of Edo state. One of the things we have most and best in Edo state is human capital.

“And how do we  develop them using ICT? Edo state is a transit state if you’re going to the east you must stop in Edo State.

“So, this is one of the things we must do, all our children going out of school for lack of money, i think we have the capacity to make sure our children they have vocation; it is not all the time you’ve done from school and get employed.

“I just left NDDC as its Executive Director of Finance and Administration and i discovered that we in the Niger Delta still have a lot to do of which Edo state is one of them.

“So, I think with what I have seen on ground, we can change  the unemployment level,  we can change the unemployment figures. We can also change and multiply the economic prosperity of women, even the development goals.

“How do you assess them if you don’t have your counterpart funding? These are areas I intend to concentrate on, to make sure that the economic prosperity of Edo people rises from my first day of  taking over the leadership of the state.”

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