By Iduozee Paul, Benin Correspondent As the 2019 general elections gather momentum, candidates of the two major political parties in Edo State, th
By Iduozee Paul, Benin Correspondent
As the 2019 general elections gather momentum, candidates of the two major political parties in Edo State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contesting for positions in the Federal House of Representatives have shunned election debate organized by Connected Advocacy (C A) to inform the people of Edo state on what the various candidates have for the citizens should they emerge winners in the poll.
The debate was put together to test the competence of the candidates, their political experience and how they intend to deliver the dividends of democracy when finally voted into power.
Candidates representing other parties were however there for the debate.
Addressing participants at a Legislative town hall meeting, the House of Representatives candidate, under Action Democratic Party (ADP), Hon. Pius Alile, said if voted to represent Egor/Ikpoba-Okha constituency, he will provide social security, address the problem of inequality between the rich and the poor, give scholarships for education to youths, loans to women, create functional mobile healthcare service from community to community, provide quality education, and rebuild the decaying infrastructures that have adversely affected the localities.
Hon. Alile when asked how he intends to provide the mentioned services, said he will sponsor bills that would lead to the development of his constituency. He promised to provide good welfare for the people.
He explained that there will also be community engagement with traditional leaders, Odionweres and Engines, to ensure right projects are sited in their localities.
He stressed how he had provided close to 10 water bole-holes, to communities both in lkpoba-Okah/ Egor adding that more water projects are still going to be commission before the general elections.
Hon. Pius Alile, who was former Student Union president, at the Institute of Journalism Benin city, disclosed how he gave cash grant of N20,000 each to market women to boost their trade, empowered180 petty market traders, graded 40 earth roads linking his district, and pledged that if given the opportunity to represent the people, he will do more.
The former Egor local government ward 7 councilor said he will ensure new policies are enacted to attract modern development to his constituency with a vow to empower widows, women and youths with modern skills and training to enable them withstand global life constraints.
On his part, the House of Representatives candidate of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) to represent Egor/Ikpoba-Okha district, Comrade Obazelu Ephraim Nosa, said if elected to represent his people, he will ensure he creates Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres with modern gargets and facilitates that will provide jobs for youths and women.
Comrade Obazelu Nosa said he will also focus on the area of agriculture so that youths that graduates from various high institutions go into agriculture. He vowed to give fertilizers to peasant farmers, loans to women to support their trade, bursary to students to make them further their education. He promised to build good roads network so that farmers can transport the products to the market.
Explaining the essence why the election debate was organize, the Executive Director, Connected Advocacy (CA), Israel Orekha, asserted that, ‘’ as the 2019 elections draws closer, and election campaigns, by candidates and parties are intensifying, and down soon. It is vital to gather like this as fellow citizens to discuss silent issued-based activities propelling the electioneering process and season of campaigns.’’
Comrade Orekha’s, who is equally the convener of the meeting, said, the legislature which is the second arm of government in Nigeria, will remain a critical component of the government mechanism, and plays quite a decisive role in the processes, dimension and structure of governance of Nigeria, and any other democracy.
“Yet, it does not seem that, we as citizens or the would-be legislators are taking this business keenly as expected. As a nation, we are currently confronted with several critical problems in nation building, requiring competent, well informed and vitally non-partisan legislative interventions.’’
“We have the vexatious issue of constituency projects, and the appropriation of funds for such by legislative. What is the position of the candidates, and their parties on the issue of constituency projects? Should the practice be scrapped? Or should the process be sanitized within clear cut legislative frameworks?”
“What is their position on the bills, before the two chambers of the NASS, regarding the provision of legislative framework for the constituency project management? These are pertinent issues begging for answers, and today, we want to carefully hear the Edo representatives and would-be policy-makers manifestoes and commitment to the people. It will be exciting to know, if any of such have been taking into cognizance and in their agenda,’’ he posited.
Also, for the candidate of NDCP, for House of Representatives to represent Egor/Ikpoba-Okha district, Comrade Michael Obasuyi, told the partakers at the forum, if elected to stand for the people that his priorities is to make sponsor bills that will create 1,000 jobs for his people. He said by training the women and youths with modern skill acquisition to make them self-reliant and to strengthen the existing institutions to enable government curb corruption.
For the candidate of All Alliance Congress (AAC), vying for the House of Representatives to represent the Egor/Ikpoba-Okha constituency, Osamede Evbakhavbokun, said if voted to represent his people, he will make modern laws that attract more projects to his district. disclosed, if elected, he will ensure he work with National Orientation Agency to re-orient the attitude of the youths to make them have the right attitude on how to exhibit the best moral value in the society, especially in the area of drug abuse and all other moral decadence.
Surprisingly, after the event in an exclusive interview with various political party candidates that grace the debate, they expressed disappointment about the non present of the candidate of APC/PDP vying for lower house in the Egor/Ikpoba-Okha constituency for shunning the debate.
They expressed grievances that, the forum would have be an avenue for the incumbent lawmakers representing the district, Hon. Johnson EhiozuwaAgbonyima (APC), Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama, representing (PDP)Oredo/Uhunwode federal constituency, and Hon. Patrick Aisowieren (APC), representing Uhunwode/Orhionmwon lower federal district to tell the people what they have done.
The elections debate event also witnessed various leaders and representatives of interest groups, such as, CSOs, NGOs, politicians, academia, religious leaders, market leaders, media and many other bodies.
At the end of the elections debate the candidates that presented in the race signed peace pact to ensure peace lead after the polls.