By Simeon OSAJIE
Former Chairman of Esan North-East Local Government Council, former Deputy Governorship candidate of Edo State ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP,) and a frontline Edo 2024 governorship aspirant, Hon. John Yakubu has promised to reenact his excellent performance at the local government level if elected the governor of the state come November 22, 2024.
Yakubu, a trader disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital.
He said during his time as Esan North-East Local Government Council Chairman was able to speak truth to power and performed creditably well because he was focused and determined to leave a footprint behind.
The former PDP Deputy Governorship candidate recall how he faught battle with the former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who made attempt to frustrate his government when he force local government chairmen in the state to sign an undertaking to have their monthly allocation deducted by 10%, adding that while other seventeen chairmen took the undertaking, he refused to sign as the chairman of Esan North-East local government. That singular act, he said made him an outstanding local government chairman in 2009 period, which later earned him an award by the Nigerian Tribune.
“I want to supersede the achievements of former governor of Bendel State, Prof. Ambrose Alli of blessed memory because I did that when I was chairman of local government council.
“Thirteen years after, if you go to my council today, you will be surprised what the people will tell you. I had an opportunity to be the chairman for just two years and ten months (between 2007 and 2010). The visible projects are still there.
“We have 774 local government areas across the country, and I am the only one that built a Police Barrack. During my tenure, I asphalted eight roads; the longest was 1.5km with drains on both sides. I built about four boreholes to address the lack of water in Uromi. The only state council staff quarter you have in Esan North-East was built by me in less than three years. These are verifiable projects.
“A lot of people ask me why I am so passionate about this state. I do tell them my heart beats for Edo State because we must rejig the state in a way that productivity will be reenacted. We must make sure our people go back to work and it cannot happen the way things are going currently. We were never used to unemployment while growing up because everybody was working. Over time, we have lost a lot because we want everything for ourselves but nothing for the people,” he said.
Going further, Hon Yakubu stated, “I did what l did as a local government chairman because that was the right thing to do. Also, because I was elected to do that, as the money was meant for the council was not for me and the councillors, but for the development of the local government and for the benefit of the people of the local government. I realize that I might have only one opportunity which eventually turn to out be. Today I can gladly go to my people and relate with them after leaving office thirteen years after”.
The Governorship hopeful promised to make security in the state as one of his priority if elected as governor come next year, adding that as Chief Executive of Edo State he would not allow strangers to come into the state to disturb farmers or go into the forest to harass farmers by not allowing them to do their legitimate job. He said he will take the lead to make sure that everywhere is safe for the farmers to farm.
Yakubu also promised to generate power for Edo people with the gas available in Edo Central and Edo North to make power supply a reality in the state.
“We have the potential to generate more energy and light for our people,” he added.
On roads, he promised to solve the problem of the usual traffic hold up at the Ikpoba River axis in Benin City. “With the right engineers in place, that will be one of the simplest thing to achieve to make sure that navigating into Benin City will be one of the simplest thing as well.
On agriculture, Yakubu said the farmers will be fully educated on the modern system of farming to enhance farm productivity in the state which will eventually translate into surplus of foods in the state.
On water supply, Yakubu stated, My government will make water available for our people. We will be able to provide water when we have power.
On the crisis in PDP, he disclosed that the party was making effort to reconcile the aggrieved members and tell them the need to come together to form a formidable team, adding that if the reconciliation is genuinely carried out, the party will become stronger in the state once again.
Above all, Yakubu promised to always hold a regular town hall meetings with the people of Edo State if elected as governor, as that is the only way he can be getting assessment from the people to know whether he is doing well or not.