The clamour for the recruitment of the younger generation into leadership positions has continued to motivate capable youths to indicate their interests in elective offices across the country.
In the case of Benue State, it is not just about the youth taking over power, but the pervasive clamor for fresh ideas and thinkings to be injected into a progressively weak system, which has led the state into difficult times recently.
This situation has become an opportunity for Mr Enenche Clement Otis, a young and successful businessman, who believes he is visionary enough and possesses the capacity to become the next Governor of Benue State, to throw his hat in the ring.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with TheNigerian’s Lawrence Audu in Makurdi, he bares his mind on his ambition and sundry issues affecting his home state.
TNN: What would you like our audience and teaming supporters to know about you?
Enenche: I would say that I am a young Benue man with good family values and a heritage of service to humanity. I am also a cosmopolitan Nigerian, who wants to leverage on the opportunity of knowledge and exposure to drive productive activities, generate employment and create opportunities for socio-economic networks and macroeconomic growth.
TNN: What informed your decision to seek election as Executive Governor of Benue State?
Enenche: My decision to be Governor is borne out of inherent leadership qualities and available leverages to turn around Benue state, via carefully thought out public- private partnerships and strategic policies that will engender value chain creations and spur sustainable agribusiness for rural development.
Secondly, I do strongly believe that the global clamour for young men and women to drive governance amidst the years long leadership deficit in Africa is now ripe for implementation. There can never be a more appropriate time and situation.
TNN: For quite a long time since its creation, Benue has suffered bad governance, currently payment of salaries of workers has become a herculean task. How do you intend to ease the sufferings of workers?
Enenche: This can be done by reducing leakages on the part of governance, ensuring ethics and corporate governance prevails, boosting of agricultural activities for industries, export, energy support, provision of silos for storage, regional positioning via accountability and accessibility, all inclusive economic activities across the 3 senatorial zones of the state and the promotion of regional prominence via interfaces and comparative advantages.
TNN: What educational policy would you implement in order to secure the future of the younger generation?
Enenche: I will introduce an ICT driven educational policy for the attraction of investors, which would create an atmosphere for support towards free education at primary and secondary levels. This will also be matched with the creation of education endowment funds and a robust training of trainers strategy for teachers.
TNN: Benue as food basket of the nation can be said to have lost that enviable place over time, if elected governor, do you intend to restore the lost agricultural glory of the state?
Enenche: Adherence to all seasons agricultural activities, via the engendering of a plethora of strategies, shall drive sustainable agriculture and guarantee restoration, repositioning and accelerated dominance once again as the food basket state, in realty and not as a mere slogan or rhetoric.
TNN: What in your perception is the way forward in revamping the health sector?
Enenche: First, we must attest to the fact that a health sector revamp in Benue is no mean feat. However, working with local government structures and generally involving the masses who are the first line beneficiaries of such programs would strengthen the almost comatose primary health sector and open up opportunity for better health at the grassroots.
The concept of General hospitals at secondary level shall be deepened in terms of facilities via increased budgetary provisions, while tertiary teaching hospitals shall be integrated via collaboration with indigenous and foreign partners, to drive medical tourism in Benue state.
Collaboration with NGOs and Development Agencies shall be optimally explored by my administration.
This if done will not only promote good health but will contribute to the IGR of the state.
TNN:What economic policies do you intend to implement to improve the economy of the state and reduce poverty to the barest minimum?
Enenche: I simple terms, I will reduce multiple taxation, block revenue leakages, support small and medium scale enterprises, construct more rural roads to ease the stress of conveying agricultural produce to the market and ensure that modern agricultural concepts are brought into the state and made accessible by all.
TNN: Security. Recently Benue has been on the news for the persistent farmers/herders clash in which hundreds have been killed and many more displaced. How do you intend to end this menace as well as other related security challenges within the state?
Enenche: This is possible through ICT led Know Your Neighbours Initiative and strengthening of neighbourhood watch for intelligence and surveillance, together with urgent drive for security trust funds via necessary global collaboration and profitable interface with the federal government at the centre.
I will encourage the farmers and herdsmen in the state to learn how to live peacefully and tolerate one another as well as use dialogue to settle disputes rather than conflict.
I will make sure the youths are meaningfully engaged, in order to curb social vices like cultism, theft, armed robbery, kidnapping and other crimes prevalent in the state in recent times.