April 14, 2024

Edo 2024: Edo North Poised to Deliver APC Ticket to Umakhihe… Amidst Gun Salute

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Dr. Umakhihe entering APC rally ground in Saboginda Ora, Owan West LGA

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By Correspondent

The leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Edo North, have thrown their weight behind Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe OON as their aspirant for the February 17, 2024 governorship primary in the state. This fact emerged after an intensive six days campaign that covered all the 18 local government areas of Edo State.

Mrs. Florence Umakhihe addressing the women during the campaign

The ‘Fresh Hope’ campaign trail that traveled from Okada in Ovia North East Local Government Area in Edo South, eventually landed in Afuze, Owan East Local Government Area after making stops in Igubazuwa, Ovia South West; Okada, Ovia North East; Egor; Ikpoba Okha; Uhunmwonde; Orhionmwon; Oredo; Esan West; Esan North East; Igueben; Esan Central; Esan South East; Etsako West; Etsako Central; Etsako East; Akoko Edo and Owan Owan West.

Dr. and Mrs. Umakhihe receiving prayers from one the leaders

Umakhike and his unprecedented campaigners were greeted with Seven Gun Salutes in Saboginda Ora and Afuze were mammoth crowd waited patiently for the homecoming of their illustrious son, who they praised for bringing development to Edo State during his sojourn as an administrator in the federal civil service.

Dr. Umakhihe delivering his ‘Fresh Hope’ agenda in Saboginda Ora

The APC chairmen described him as a reference point in administration, and also pleaded with the party leaders in the state, to give him the opportunity to use his wealth of experience to take replicate the massive development that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole brought to the state during his tenure as governor.

Divinity

Recognizing the enormous challenges confronting the state, the quintessential public servant urged the APC leaders to give him fresh assignment. According to him, the “reward for hard work is more work.”

The APC chairmen in Estako West, Estako Central and Etsako East local government areas in their separate remarks pledged to nominate Umakhihe as the party flag bearer in the Edo governorship election slated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Akoko Edo APC faithful listening to Dr. Umakhihe’s ‘Fresh Hope’ message

Alhaji Dada Ahmed, the APC LGA Chairman in Estako West Local Government Area, expressed appreciation to Dr. Umakhihe for all the “good work” he has been doing for the people of Afemai land. He expressed confidence that he will do more if given the opportunity to serve Edo State as governor.

Akoko Edo APC Women listening to Dr. Umakhihe’s ‘Fresh Hope’ message

He appealed to the executives and members of the APC to give him the necessary support to get the nomination as the party’s governorship candidate, and also win the general election.

Dr. Umakhihe’s reassuring APC members of ‘Fresh Hope’ in Uromi, Esan North East

At Agenebode, Etsako East, Peter Okponoghe, chairman of the party in the local government, received Umakhihe and his campaigners that filled the hall and the outer space and paid glowing tributes to his outstanding community service, which according to him, remains the standard in public service. He commended the governorship aspirant for carrying out people oriented projects when he was in the civil service. He urged him not to relent after his election as the governor of Edo State.

Scenes from Mega Rally in Saboginda Ora, amidst gun salute to Dr. Umakhihe’s exemplary service to Nigerians

Delivering his ‘Fresh Hope’ agenda for ‘Shared Prosperity, to executives and members of the party in all Edo North Constituency, Dr. Umakhihe reiterated that, the mandate he seeks was not for his personal interest but for the entire Edo people who are in a hurry to have a governor with experience and human face.

With the aide of mobile phone touchlights, Dr. Umakhihe addressing APC leaders and members in Ekpoma at dusk

The ‘Fresh Hope’ evangelist noted that, Edo State is richly blessed with all the natural resources, promised to attract investors to explore the mineral deposit in the area for the benefit of the people. In Igarra, headquarter of Akoko Edo Local Government Area, Umakhihe lamented that total neglect of the tourism assets in the locality. He promised to develop the uniqueness of the area into a favourite tourism destination that will provide jobs and improve their Local Economic Development (LED).

Ikpoba Okha leaders listening to Umakhihe’s ‘Fresh Hope’ message

He also emphasized that the health of the people will be the priority of his administration. And to achieve this, he promised to upgrade primary health centres with modern facilities that will guaranty efficient service delivery to serve as the first point of call for any health issues in the rural Edo State.

“The health of the people will be a priority as the primary health centers across the state will be upgraded and fitted with modern facilities which serve as a first point of call for any health related issue in the rural areas before taking such a person to the nearest hospital for a more adequate attention”, he added.

Dr. Umakhihe urged Edo people to support and nominate him as the flag bearer of the APC, because of his experience in public and financial administration, just as he promised to deliver on his promises.

All the APC leaders – Alhaji Dauda Ahmed, Chairman Etsako West; Chief John Brai Aloye, leader Etsako Central and Hon Peter Okponoghe, Etsako East Local Government, all agreed to work for the emergence of Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe and APC gubernatorial Candidate and as the elected governor of Edo State.

Umakhihe acknowledging gun salute in Saboginda Ora

At Fugar, Etsako Central, Chief John Brai Aloye, said Dr. Umakhihe was eminently qualified for the position of governor. He commended the immediate past Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for coming out to run for the position of governor.

He urged the frontline APC governorship aspirant to continue from the good legacy of the former governor of the State, Adams Oshiomhole when given the party ticket and subsequently elected governor.

He however cautioned him not to betray the trust reposed in him by the people, like the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki.

In Auchi, Etsako West, the APC Chairman, Alhaji Dauda Ahmed, noted that, based on the governorship aspirant’s records while in the civil service, he is optimistic that when given the mandate to govern Edo State, Umakhihe will deliver more.

At Agenebode, Etsako East, the Chairman of the party, Hon Peter Okponoghe praised Dr. Umakhihe for carrying out people oriented projects when he was in the service and urged him not to relent when he is nominated and subsequently elected as Governor. He paid glowing tributes to the mind boggling interventions in several communities in Etsako East Local Government Area.

In his address to the party’s local government executives at their various secretariat, Dr. Umakhihe pointed out the various challenges confronting the different areas and his solutions which are contained in ‘workplan’ that he distributed to APC faithful. He solicited for their support to emerge the party’s flag bearer for the September 21, 2024 governorship election.

He noted that his political ambition is not about Edo South, Central nor Edo North but for the entire Edo people and the state as a whole.

“I want to be a governor of Edo State, not a governor of one particular zone”, Umakhihe informed his audience with resounding applause.

He reminded his audience that Edo state is richly blessed with all the natural resources, adding that he is going to attract investors to explore them, saying that the God-given mineral deposits in the area are for the benefit of the people.

Dr. Umakhihe  shared in the belief that, Owan deserves to produce the next governor, but emphasized that he is not relying on the notion of marginalization to gain support but, on his experience, qualifications and capacity to become the next Governor of Edo State. that is needed to lead the state to greater heights.

He reminded the enthusiastic Afemai, Akoko Edo and Owan APC members that he is a product of Holy Trinity Grammar School, Sabo.

Having served as a director in various sectors before his appointment as permanent secretary by President Muhammad Buhari, Dr. Umakhihe has of a commendable track record in public service, where he traversed various ministries which cumulated in the Ministry of Agriculture and Foods Security.

Over the years, he helped to initiate and execute numerous projects across the three senatorial districts, focusing on education, infrastructure, and youth empowerment.

In Owan West were he was welcomed with seven gun salute, Dr. Umakhihe reiterated his commitment to solve the insecurity problem facing the state. He recognized the importance of addressing the security concerns in Owan West and the entire state which is affecting the social and economic life. He promised to put his Doctoral training in security and strategy to good use.

He explained that his agricultural revolution will be hinged on mechanized, irrigation and tractorization farming techniques, just as he promised to invest in education by building schools and ensuring they are staffed with qualified teachers.

His commitment to empowering the youth and women, he says will be achieved through initiatives, such as providing interest-free loans to the youth and creating opportunities for women to thrive in their businesses.

While welcoming the APC aspirant back home, Prophet Ojo Agen expressed the party’s full force in supporting an Owan man as the next governor. Prophet Agen commended Dr. Umakhihe for his many impactful projects and wished him the blessings of the ancestors.

The Akoko Edo APC chairman, Chief Ojo Maliki on the other hand, assured Umakhihe of the party’s support and extended the party’s appreciation for his dedicated service to the Edo North people. He assured him that the party leaders were solidly behind him and acknowledged his impressive track record and academic qualifications which cut across different discipline.

The chairman emphasized that the time for development and the end of marginalization in Akoko Edo had come, and the party would rally behind Dr. Umakhihe as he sought the APC nomination ticket in February 2024.

On his part, Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe traced his grassroots connection to Akoko Edo, highlighting his personal experiences and ties to the region. He  recalled fetching water under the rocks in the area. He added that Akoko Edo was like a second home to him.

He outlined specific plans to make Akoko Edo a tourist attraction, harness its mineral resources for employment opportunities for Edo youths, and implement strategies to address insecurity. He also emphasized the importance of education and healthcare, promising to build and recruit teachers for schools and establish standard health centers with qualified practitioners.

The celebrations in Saboginda Ora and Afuze concluded the intense and aggressive campaign that brought the 2007 memories of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole emergence as the Governorship Candidate of the Action Congress.

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