Obaseki unveils plans for health sector
MR Godwin Obaseki, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the September 28 Edo election, says he is committed to turn Edo to the medical hub of Nigeria if he wins the election.
Obaseki made the pledge on Tuesday, in Benin, at an interactive session with the state chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).
“If the people of the state elect me as their governor, the health programme of my administration will be targeted at the less privileged,” he said.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the measure would go a long way to discourage the people of the state from embarking on medical tourism to foreign countries.
To achieve the objective, Obaseki said that five star hospitals in Benin would be equipped with the best medical equipment and personnel.
“I will build and equip specialised departments at the Central Hospital in Benin for the treatment of ailments that make Nigerians seek medical attention abroad,” he said.
While promising to restore faith in the health sector, the APC candidate promised that his administration would consider the medical needs of the poor.
Obaseki, however, noted with satisfaction that the incumbent administration in the state had invested substantially in the health sector.
“What we have done basically in these past years is to improve on infrastructure in government hospitals as well as equipping some of them.
“Now, while we will be focusing more on human capacity building, we will also focus on equipping hospitals with modern health facilities,” he added.
The APC flag bearer said he plans to build and equip emergency care centres at strategic locations across the state to admit emergency cases, especially accident victims.
He assured the medical practitioners, who attended the interactive session, of good working relationship with them to enhance healthcare delivery in the state.
He expressed concern at the strained relationship between the government and members of the NMA in the state.
He said that the demands of medical doctors are usually about compensation, incentives and standard, adding that these are issues which the government could handle through negotiation.
Obaseki solicited the support and cooperation of members of NMA to enable him win the election so that he could actualise his plans for the sector.
In his remarks, Dr Emmanuel Osigbofo, the chairman of the state chapter of the NMA, assured the candidate of the support and cooperation of the association to enable him realise his ambition.
He, however, appealed to the APC candidate to give more attention to the medical practitioners if he wins the election.
- I am still in Edo guber race, says KOWA candidateMR Thompson Osadolor, the KOWA governorship
Candidate for the September 28 election in Edo, has said that he did not step down from the contest.
Osadolor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, in Asaba that he did not step down for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
“I am still very much in the race for the Edo governorship seat; there was no time I withdrew from the race.
“I have no plan to step down for anybody and I have not told anybody that I have done that, and I will never step down,” he said.
He told NAN that he only expressed the fact that his party’s manifesto was similar to that of the PDP.
The candidate said that he remained committed to realising his ambition, and that he was confident of victory.
“I am determined to see the end of it all because I know I will win the race. I have a bright chance of winning. I have campaigned across the nooks and crannies of the state; I have sold myself to the people,” he said.
NAN reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the election from Saturday, September 10 to Wednesday September 28, citing security concerns.
I could have been gov in 2007 —Ize-Iyamu
Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has disclosed that he turned down a move to instal him governor in 2007 because he was convinced that it was wrong for a Benin to succeed a fellow Benin man.
The PDP candidate, who stated this in Iyaro-Uzaire, Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s ward in Etsako West Local Government Area, when hundreds of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Prince Musa Braimah defected to the PDP, said his belief in fairness made him to support an Afemai man in the person of Governor Adams Oshiomhole to become governor.
He said, “I could have been governor in 2007 but I said a Benin man has been governor for eight years. I said a Benin man cannot become governor again. I know that Edo North, Afemai, has never produced governor before.
“I said we must look for someone in Afemai to become governor. We now founded our group and finished everything when they brought Oshiomhole. They said we must help him.
“So I asked Oshiomhole if he wanted to become governor and he said yes, but that he didn’t know anybody since he came from Kaduna and Abuja. The election was so tough that three people died in the election.
When he became governor, we realised that he had a different thing in mind. People were angry and came to tell me that we have sold a ‘bad market,’ to them. I however did not want to truncate Edo North’s two terms and said that God will touch his heart in the second term.
“To be sure that I was with him, he made me the director general of his campaign. However, the moment he won, he said ‘this Pastor, who has been doing anyhow, I must drive him away.’ That was how he started to fight me.”
Ize-Iyamu said Governor Oshiomhole has wrong impression about development, pointing out that “when you develop a place without developing the people you are simply developing it for strangers to take over the place.”
The leader of the defector, Prince Musa Braimah, said with the coming of his group into the PDP, the fortunes of the PDP in the area, which he said was hitherto poor, would now change.
He lamented that roads constructed in the area by Governor Oshiomhole have not translated into development for the people, saying, “The youths don’t have job, the women are still in the same place they were before now and there are no jobs to empower the people.”
APC, PDP clash in Jattu
Ahead of the September 28 Edo State governorship election, violence crept into electioneering campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday, as a campaign team led by the wife of the PDP candidate, Dr Mrs Idia Ize-Iyamu, reportedly clashed with some APC youths in Jattu, Etsako West Local Government Area.
According to the Publicity Secretary of the Edo PDP, Chris Nehikhare, the incident occurred at Jattu Market when some PDP women, led by Mrs Ize-Iyamu, were campaigning from shop to shop, marketing the PDP Simple Agenda manifesto.
He said the chants of “change the change” by market women infuriated some APC youths, including running mate to the APC governorship candidate, Hon Phillip Shuaibu, who allegedly led the youths into attacking the PDP women.
Mrs Ize-Iyamu was reported unhurt in the melee.
In a reaction, however, legislative aide to Hon Phillip Shuaibu, Ambrose Kelvin Akhigbe, said Phillip Shuaibu and some other APC supporters were on a road show at the Jattu Market when some PDP members, allegedly led by one Jaret Tenebe, started stoning them.
He added that three police officers, who were invited to remedy the situation by Shuaibu were attacked by the PDP supporters, adding that Shuaibu does not have history of violence unlike the PDP governorship candidate.
He said, “Having unleashed violence, Ize-Iyamu and his party have been using every available platform to blame the APC supporters, who have been busy engaging the good people of Edo North with our message of change.
Obaseki visits NUJ, assures journalists of further support
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has assured journalists in the state of further support and unhindered access, if elected governor in the governorship election rescheduled for September 28, 2016.
The governorship hopeful, according to the Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organisation, in a release issued in Benin City, made this pledge when he paid a thank-you-visit to the NUJ Press Centre in Benin City, at the weekend.
Obaseki told media practitioners at the press centre that he was there to thank the media men and women for the honour done to him last time he visited when he was made a honourary member of the union.
“I thank you for the honour, which has made me to become one of you, and the subsequent support you have been giving me since then. You have really shown that we have you as partners in progress. I want to assure you that in and out of government, you will always have my support,” he said.
Commenting on the postponed election, Obaseki posited that there was no need shedding blood for election: “painful as the postponement is, expensive as it is, we still feel the election was worthy of postponement. We need people to vote, so why shed their blood for election?”
Continuing, he said, “We have no fear of losing the election. If we had any concern, events of last week vindicated us. If our opponents knew they could win the election, they would not have brought in such armed men.”
On the facilities at the NUJ Press Centre, Obaseki said he was happy that as promised during his last visit, the internet facility had been reconnected and he promised to do more. “Internet is very critical to your work as journalists, because without it, you cannot work. As long as I am in Edo State, you will always have internet connection.”
According to the business guru turned politician, one of his key goals is to make Edo State join the economic revolution by developing key infrastructure. For more convenience at the press centre, Obaseki pledged that he and the deputy governorship candidate would provide bigger power generating set to power the centre and a bus would also be donated to the NUJ to ease mobility.
“We are moving from the politics of oil to politics of development; politics of development needs the opening up of peoples’ mind, and the media has a key role to play. The new era is that of adequate management of resources. We cannot afford to start to experiment with the lives of five million Edo people, we now need to show example that our state can be a model. That is our responsibility, that is the leadership we must continue to provide. We will take the state to the next level. The strategy of lying to the people would be broken, Comrade Governor has started it, we will continue,” he concluded.
In his response, the NUJ State Secretary, Mr Alena-OzioruwaAliu, who spoke on behalf of the union, thanked the governorship candidate for his past and promised support to NUJ.
“We support you and your non-violence disposition. Violence is not an option by any politician who genuinely wants to govern our state,” he said.