Chief Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri
Friends of Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri, governorship candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), in the July 14 election in Edo State, recently organised a fund raiser in Lagos to support the aspiration of their friend. Anayo Okolie captures the thrills and frills at the event
The ambience may have provided an avenue for Mr. Solomon Edebiri, governorship candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the July 14 election to briefly shut down on his political hustings. Although, the event was not completely non-partisan, it was certainly not in the category of real time politicking that ordinarily unveils the insanity characteristic of the turf. It was a civil gathering where liberal talks and exchange of familiarity banters held sway. It was a fund raiser in honour of Edebiri by friends.
Edebiri’s friends had obviously followed campaigns in Edo State and were convinced and determined to mobilise support for him. As they gathered from all walks of life in Lagos, they’d defined their friend and governorship hopeful as a man whose life style and political ideology abhours acrimony, desperation and greed that tend to typify an average politician.
Over time, Edebiri’s friends believe he has shown sufficient commitment towards lifting the living standard of people through his practical and achievable political and economical ideology. But not just that; Edebiri is said to believe that leadership should impact every sphere of human endeavour.
Many have described him as a leader who welcomes constructive criticisms, feasible policy options for systematic overhauling and bold initiatives and sustainable development because of his desire to ameliorate sufferings of the people. And this is believed to have distinguished him from the lot.
Anthony Enabulele who gave a welcome address on behalf of friends of Edebiri said as his friends, they are a group comprising people of different professional careers and entrepreneurs from various fields of discipline that make up 80% Edo indigenes and other Nigerians based in Lagos.
Enabulele said the group has endorsed Edebiri as its candidate for the Edo 2012 gubernatorial election, adding that the assemblage of friends in Lagos was as a result of the great potentials, zeal, wealth of knowledge and entrepreneurial skills majority of Edo people had seen in Edebiri that had earned him the support.
According to Enabulele, his manifesto seeks to address the moral decadence and impoverishment of the Edo People.
“Edebiri is a seasoned professional, industrialist and CEO of many companies in Nigeria including Typha Cenia Nigeria Limited (An Oil & Gas Servicing Company). He is presently the President of Nigerian Institute of Welding. His professional and business aspirations have seen him through working across the shores of Edo state and beyond. He is also the President, West African Welding Federation and President, Eagle Finance group, Ghana.
“Most of us from Edo State at some point in our lives must have contemplated or wondered why this unprogressive aura that characterises both the people and the environmental landscape of Edo State is so. Our focus as individuals and as a people present here tonight, is the need that has arisen for a transformation of Edo State.
“A transformation towards the alleviation of poverty and industrial revolution; a transformation of moral decadence to healthier family living; a transformation that will save our future generations, our youths and our children, a transformation that will uphold moral and social justice; a transformation that will protect human rights and dignity; a transformation that will provide good medical health care for its citizens; a transformation that will provide social amenities such as roads, electricity, portable water as basic necessities to its citizens.
“It is in this light that we, friends of Solomon Edebiri, in Lagos are making this clarion call to all Edo people both at home and in Diaspora to join the bandwagon of Edo Progressives to support Solomon Edebiri’s election campaign for 2012 gubernatorial election come July 14, in Edo State.”
He canvassed that “fair and effective governance could be described as one which is transparent, participatory, result focused and accountable. Can we say these have been pre-eminent in the last 12 years of democracy in Edo State? Let the Edo people stand up for a leader whose vision and mission are those that will change the course of history in Edo State. With groaning and yearnings, we call on all the people of Edo State, to be part of this change that we all desire, Enabulele said.
He noted that the change for good governance is a revolutionary change that will liberate and save the future generations, adding that a true change that will provide employment and empowerment to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Edo State; a change that will make Edo people stop sending their children to foreign countries for prostitution and other criminal related activities is what Edebiri will offer.
“What we need is a change that will engage our graduates and our youth positively, a change that will exercise true democracy in accountability and social justice, a true change that will care for its citizenry especially the children, the orphans,” he said.
Speaking, Edebiri said the “love for power through greed and personal ambition has remained the bane of our social insecurity and corruption in the society and that is why I veered into politics primarily to restore confidence in the people of Edo State who had for long, lost confidence in leadership in the State.
Unveiling his agenda for Edo, Edebiri said what motivated his decision to go into the contest was to ensure that the resources of Edo State are harnessed, utilised and distributed equally through the appropriate avenues that would transform the state socially and economically.
According to him, unemployment rate particularly that of the youth is rising and there is need for quick intervention from the government to reverse the trend. He said statistics have indicated that the population of Edo State is made up of more than 35 percent youths and for the state to move forward there is need to take the youth more seriously.
“We have designed a way to combat youth unemployment through creation of vocational training centers with materials and equipment for functional literacy and entrepreneurial development.
“For any state to grow and have sustainable economic development there is need for wealth creation as against the idea of wealth sharing. Edo State is at the brink of total collapse and ruin. It faces serious challenges and bleak future if fundamental steps are not urgently taken to arrest the degeneration and worsening socio-economic situation,” he warned.
Edebiri, however, said all hopes were dashed when the remnants in the legacies, companies like Edo line, Bendel Brewery and others were killed. The goals of youth empowerment, wealth creation, security, agricultural development, health reforms and improved social amenities can be effectively pursued and can only be attained and sustained through efficient, relevant and functional government,” he added.