By Kevin Okunzuwa
Benin, Sept. 4, 2020 A Socio-political group, Edo Across Borders (EAB), says Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s (POI) ‘The SIMPLE agenda’ manifesto will effectively address the weak security architecture in Edo.
Ize-Iyamu is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party (APC), in the Sept.19, Governorship election in Edo.
The group said this in a statement signed by its chairman, Chief Gabriel Edeoghon, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Benin.
NAN reports that The SIMPLE agenda is an acronym that stands for Security, Infrastructural development, Manpower development, Public/Private Partnership, Leadership and Employment creation.
EAB said Ize-Iyamu’s SIMPLE agenda had succinctly articulated how he hoped to develop the state’s security architecture with available resources without compromising accounting principles and laid down standards.
“Today the city is a security nightmare, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, the herdsmen menace and other unsavory criminal enterprise have become prevalent.
“The rise of criminality has tempered the city’s once vivacious spirit, and forced the realignment of significant cultural activities and celebrations.
“For example, night-time wake is as extinct as the dinosaur and social activity beyond a certain time is a hazardous enterprise.
“The disastrous and declining security situation has created a costly economic impact; earnings from nightlife commercial activities are virtually gone, and rich successful Edo citizens are in a constant state of anxiety because they are targets of opportunity for criminals.”
The group said the security situation had further deteriorated under the incumbent administration, saying its alleged ‘”neglect of the security situation in Edo is in itself criminal.
“This government has done nothing to stem the herdsmen menace prompting Edo citizens to develop their own security arrangements.
“Rebuilding the state’s crumbling infrastructure, revamping a moribund educational system and uplifting the social welfare of the people are all laudable progressive goals.
“But these significant economic and policy objectives milestones will never be realised unless the debilitating security situation is effectively addressed.
“The only candidate that has offered a plan to tackle this nightmare is Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu.
“In his Simple agenda he dissects the enormity of the crisis and acknowledges the inadequacy and unpreparedness of an underfunded, poorly equipped, unmotivated Nigerian Police force to handle the challenge.
Pastor Osagie calls for the adoption of a global best practice approach to security delivery, revised security architecture, adequate crime fighting equipment and the establishment of a 911 emergency system.
He also calls for an Edo State Security Trust fund which will be the primary mechanism by which his bold security initiatives will be achieved.
“EAB does not support POI blindly, his ideas and vision as boldly outlined in the Simple agenda offers real solutions for moving our state forward,” it said.
On social welfare scheme, the group said “the Edo citizen, who currently lives a life of quiet desperation, will soon become liberated.
“The average citizen is precariously perched on the edge of disaster, stressing about the basic necessities of human existence not to mention school fees and other obligations.
“The specter of hardship shadows his daily interactions and if he is lucky foreign exchange inflow may temper the effects of his excruciating hardship.
“Therefore, the definition of social welfare in Edo state must be expanded to include how the government impacted the lives of the people.
“Will Edo state citizens fall for the usual empty political slogans and unfulfilled promises of the current status quo or embrace the opportunity for a new political paradigm, a dynamic leadership that offers to “access government for the benefit of the people?
“This is the commitment that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has made to the people of Edo State in a 28 page manifesto Simple Agenda.
“Very few politicians if any, has outlined their vision to uplift the welfare of their people in such a remarkable manner.
“The Pastor has not only distinguished himself in this regard his Simple Agenda proposes practical solutions to the current challenges which has beset the state.
“Specifically, on social welfare, an Ize-Iyamu Administration will develop a comprehensive plan to make social welfare programmes work for the people.
“Among other ideas, he proposes to allot “Personalised life-time Social Security numbers to all Edo State citizens and create Social Welfare offices in the three senatorial districts.
The proposals contained in the Simple Agenda are designed to uplift, to elevate to enhance and to ameliorate. This is not politics as usual. This is the Simple agenda politics that benefits the people.