A template for Ikpoba-Okha transformation. My Flagg-off speech, 1st September, 2014.

By Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo

"Party candidacy should be a moment of personality, charisma and capability appraisal" - being a speech delivered by Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo during the flag-off of his Edo State House of Assembly campaign at the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, 1st September 2014.

Distinguished party faithfuls! APC, Change; Change, all over Nigeria!

It is with utmost joy from the dept of my heart, that I stand before this August assembly of party faithfuls, friends and relations to unveil my bid for Edo State House of Assembly come May 29 2015; to represent the good people of Ikpoba-Okha constituency. There is no gainsaying that the internal mechanisms of political parties otherwise referred to as Party Primaries, is as critical as the customary naming ceremony in Benin Kingdom. This is so because, whereas the average Whiteman believes that there is nothing special about the name of a child, in our evergreen tradition, we believe that the name of a child reflects his or her ordained destination in terms of mission and purpose of existence. In the same token, Ladies and Gentlemen, the kind of candidate that we throw-up as a party is a reflection of the mission and purpose of our party for a given consituency and the state at large. It is as critical as that.

As a child who was born in Ikpoba-Okha ward seven (7), I attended the native nursery education otherwise called "Akara-school" in Ikpoba-Okha, attended Ologbosere Primary School, Niger College, Nigerian Institute of Computer Science and Professional Studies (Ogiso), all in Ikpoba-Okha; before navigating for advanced tertiary studies in the University of Benin for my first and secondary degrees; I am undoubtedly conversant with the challenges and aspirations of this locality. As a renowed ethnic nationalist, I am equally endowed with the intrinsic leadership-orientation critical for the restoration of self esteem to the avarage Edo man and woman. In terms of parentage and upbringing, I stand out amongst my peers; because, my father (Late Arc Bishop J. E. Edokpolo) floated the prestigious Edokpolo Nursery, Primary and Grammar Schools, yet, he projected me to through public schools; may be to prepare me for strategic public service like the Edo State House of Assembly.j My mother was a famous teacher in Ologbosere Primary School, and i am proud that she was a disciplinarian all her life.

Since the year 2005 when I came in contact with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (as the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress) we have shared common doctrines of transformation, both in character and policy articulation. As an uncommon mentor, the Comrade Governor has attested to my astute loyalty and defense to party issues and programs in many public outings. Since coming on board as Governor on the 11th of Nivember 2008; I have been appointed into several posts in the Oshiomhole administration, well enough to strengthen my academic orientation for uncommon positive change, if nominated by our great party and eventually elected into the Edo State House of Assembly.

The challenge before us as a party is to forensically examine the personalities, charisma and capabilities of all the aspirants, seeking the candidacy of our party in the forthcoming 2015 General Elections. We are not unaware of the well-founded rumors by the party connected to the Presidency to rig the election on a largescale margin, with the intent of securing 2/3rd majority in the State Assembly and perfect the 'ungodly' against Mr. Governor. Like we all know, the choice of 'quachokoristic aspirants' is the fertile ground for protests votes and large scale defection of party loyalists; to this end, I wish to humbly advise that we tread with absolute caution and the pursuit of popular interests in the internal party enterprise; whose ultimate goal should be the advancement of the greatest good to the greatest number of our party members. Most people have canvassed for internal and external party debates in order to asses abilities and capabilities of all the aspirants, with humility, I align myself to that theory.

Like I have said before, the comparison between the ten years reign of the People's Democratic Party and the near six years reign of the All Progressives Congress; is like the comparative analysis of the technological efficiency and hospitality-frenzy of a Toyota Hummer Bus with the infamous 'Molue'. Whereas, our people now have a clearer picture of governance and the mechanisms of class struggle for the good of the downthrowden, when compared to the ten years of deception and unbridled hypocrisy of a set of repressive Edo elites based in Edo and Abuja as it where in that hay days. The State Government has shown above all that it is possible for Edo state to attain her aspiration in terms of infrastructure and human capital development; judging by the framework of political leadership that they have elected across board to give-effect to the so called social contract. The composition of the state Assembly come May 29, 2015 is more critical than ever, because, the Governor needs a vibrant House that will compliment his resource an stakeholders appropriation, in a manner that all segments of the state will benefit equitably.

Ikpoba-Okha being the second largest oil and gas producing Local Government Area of Edo State earnestly deserve constructive representation, which will be the hallmark of my tenure as elected member in Edo State House of Assembly. So far, I am the only aspirant with a three point agenda vis Grassroot Consultation; Democratic Articulation; and Constructive Representation. For strategic political reasons, I have kept the import of these agenda within my sleeves to avoid plagiarism on them by our opposition parties, I will surely unveil them when I emerge candidate and in any intellectual contest between our party and other parties.

That Ambassador Osayomore Joseph (the most outstanding Edo musician) is playing on this campaign ground today, free of charge for my campaign organization is a testimony to my humble background and astute abilities to represent Ikpoba-Okha. It is also a symptomatic expression of Amb. Osayomore's believe in my ability to join his big-Comrade brothers (Gov. Adams Oshiomhole); and Hon. Osarodion Ogie Esq. respectively in securing fundamental change for the average Ikpoba-Okha man and woman, boy and girl. It is instructive to remind us all that Amb. Osayomore Joseph is maternally from the same Ward 7, Ikpoba Okha with my good self.

In conclusion, I submit that this process that will ultimately end in the choice of our party candidate will be legendary in terms of historical appraisal by children yet unborn, and future historians, IF, it translate to the choice of a candidate that is able to bring change, not for the fun of it, but that which will translate to security of jobs for our teaming unemployed youths; standard and pocket-friendly Medicare for our pregnant women and mothers; viable empowerment projects for our girls, and physically challenged persons; sustainable infrastructural master plan that will make chronic-erosion history from our land; create formidable and dependable leadership that is capable of responding to emerging threats, be they environmental, climatic and devious tendencies of men-of-the-underworld. I rest my case.

May God bless you all for gracing this landmark ceremony, and may you find favor in His sight at all times. Amen.

Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo.

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