SWITZERLAND, JUNE 15 – A movement of young Edo professionals christened “I am Edo” has been launched in Lagos. The Movement, whose mission is to inspire a spirit of patriotism in Edo people, and mobilize citizen action for good governance, has also endorsed the second term bid of the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, pledging support for his candidacy under any party.
This was contained in a press release sent to Today’s Echo on Sunday by the group.
Speaking during the launch event, Tony Usidamen, convener of the I am Edo Movement, noted: “For far too long, hard-working sons and daughters of Edo have distanced themselves from politics and governance in the state, and watched as a few entitled politicians, who are a demographic minority, call the shots in the affairs of the state, and brazenly plunder our commonwealth.”
“As major stakeholders in the Edo project, we the young professionals—home and abroad—can no longer stay on the sidelines. This is why the I am Edo Movement was birthed to galvanize Edo people to take control of their destiny, and join in the process of restructuring, remodeling and rebuilding the state, so that all citizens can journey towards their dreams with confidence and dignity.”
“Indeed, the power and responsibility for social change lies in the hands of the people. Through media advocacy and grassroots campaigns, we want to encourage participation in the electoral process, drive systemic changes in the community, local government, and state administration, and engender inclusive socio-economic development in line with the principles of democratic governance and social justice.”
On the choice of Obaseki as their preferred candidate in the September 2020 gubernatorial election in the state, Usidamen said: “The positive impact of the intervention programmes of the Obaseki administration across key sectors of the economy—including education, healthcare, agriculture, power, manufacturing and industry, roads and infrastructure, art and sports, law and order, and the civil service—is clear for all to see.”
“And so, when one finds a crop of leaders who go against the grain, selfless men and women that identify with the challenges and aspirations of the people they govern, and are committed to economic and material advancement of the majority rather than a few, it is only natural that we support them. The credential of the other major contender, who seems to have the backing of self-acclaimed godfathers in the ruling APC, pales in comparison.”
Ensuring that government works for the public good requires informed, organized, active, and peaceful citizen participation. The overarching goal of the I am Edo Movement, says the conveners, is to instill a real sense of pride and patriotism in all people of Edo heritage, home and abroad. It is a vehicle through which citizens can aggregate their interests, voice their preferences, and exercise the power necessary to effect sustained change,” Usidamen added.