Edo Guber Race: I’ll Creat Smart Cities To Boost Agriculture, Says Ikhine

Mr. Ikhine
Share this story.

By Akombo Aondona, Abuja

A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Mr. Gideon Ikhine, on Friday 2 February 2024 said he would create smart cities in agricultural areas as obtainable in Europe to boost agriculture and create wealth and develop the state into an economic hub in Africa.

Addressing journalists at the APC Media Centre after submitting his governorship nomination form at the party National Secretariat Abuja, Ikhine said his campaign is base on the slogan “Beckon Of Hope” to develop the state.

Ikhine said: “Talking about Edo State. Are we where we are supposed to be? Are we challenged by the situation in the country? The answer is yes. It is good to have  ambition. It is good to have a dream. It is good to have personal drive but above all, what is more important is the interest of the people.  What drives me in Edo State is the key vision of transforming Edo State into a destination of first choice for any person coming to Africa. Somebody might say this is quite laudable.  But I want to tell you it is achievable.

“Edo State is situated geographically in one of the best zones in Africa.  Edo State is like a hub. You cannot go to the East, West and North without passing through Edo State. If you have such a state you pass by and you look at the present situation you can start from the human capital. An average citizen in Edo State today is barely existing; they are not living. We must give this people a hope. We must give them a life.

“There is a reason we christened our campaign “The Beckon of Hope”. We need to reestablish the beckon that made Edo what it was. Today, are we where we are supposed to be? No! What is the value we have as a state? The value we have today as a name is the Benin Kingdom. How have we been able to take advantage of the name, to transform it into socio-economic value for the people? We have not done that. These are some of the things we want to do. Focusing on tourism and rebuilding our infrastructure.”

Ikhine continued: “Everybody seems to realise it today that we are in serious debt as a state. How are you going to pay that debt? Every person is running to become governor.  Do they have programmess? Do they understand the geography of the state? Do they know how they are going to transform the state from where it used to be to where it should be today?

“So, to think of becoming the governor of Edo state you must first think of how to grow the economy. If you cannot grow the economy because you cannot only tell them you are going to give them free health, education and housing. Before you can give all of these you have to first and foremost create wealth and give it to them. Government has no cash to give to people but they can provide a platform for our people to be rich. That is where I come in. Today Edo State is in debt. How are you going to pay the debt? Where are you going to get the money from?

“Agriculture, aside tourism, is going to be one area we are going to focus on. And in focusing on agriculture, we are going to look at food crops and cash crops. We are going to be looking at ranching, that is cattle rearing. And we are going to look at farming. These can provide basic things for people. And if we are going into agriculture this will help us to developed smart cities around Edo State. If you look at Edo State geographical history, the names and cities you have been hearing since 1963 are still the same cities you are hearing of today They cannot go any further rather they are deteriorating. So we are going to create smart cities with agriculture. If you go to Europe you will know what is called city centre. You will see what I’d called industrial area. All the citity centres in Europe were developed by the Jewish people and they were created out of farms. That is why if you look at the Israeli types of farming you will see the cubits system.  Men develop forests and transform them into cities and towns. We are going to do this.

“Why are we focusing on food? If you Google it, you will discover today Lagos consumed N4.6b of food daily. Not monthly but daily. Ibadan almost N2b daily. Onitsha N3.6b daily. This is what people consume daily. So as a state we want to be able to provide enough food for our people and be able to feed the neighbouring states. There is really no land in Lagos to farm. Here our land is fertile. So why can’t we take advantage of it? Why can’t we think of going into mechanised farming and put people there? The richest people you have in Europe and America are farmers. Why do they have that interest? They have the basic needs wherever they are as farmers.”

Share this story.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.