By: Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
A Group of Edo State indigenes in diaspora, yesterday urged Governor Godwin Obaseki to harness the potentials of thousands of it citizens spread across the Diaspora to the development of the state.
The body under the auspices of Godsent Foundation, in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin, said in achieving this, it has come up with the “Edo In Diaspora Projects” aimed at bringing together all Edo professionals to contribute their quota to the success of the Obaseki’s led administration in the state.
President of the group, Dion Osagie, while congratulation the governor on his victory at the appellate court, disclosed that the group in the last 3 weeks had embarked on a tour of 19 cities across Europe to interact with Edo professionals.
He said ” In the last 3 weeks we have tours 8 countries and 19 cities around Spain, Dublin, Holland, France, Germany, Belguim, Sweden and Denmark. I am amazed to see so many of our people living there. For very long time now, the Edos in Diaspora have been taken for granted and not appreciated for their contributions to the development of Edo State.
“We must recognize the strength of our brothers and sisters in Diaspora. They contribute a major part to the sustainability of the families back home and the development of the state. Over 90% of new homes owned in Edo are built by people living in Diaspora.
“It is sad that we have more Edo youths living in Diaspora than in Edo. If it is true that the youths are the future, what future will there be, if the youths who are suppose to be the future now live in other nations, helping those nations build?
He also lamented what he described as the hostile attitude of men of the Nigeria Police in Edo against visiting Edo citizens especially from abroad and added that such disposition is capable of driving investors away.
“My challenge and obligation as a youth is to continue to do my part to instigate a lasting positive change for all Edos globally. However many complains of police harassment and intimidation often prevent them from coming home to invest. They rather invest in other state. This is a big failure on leadership and we can fix it.
He further urged Obaseki’s to create an office in Government house that represent the interest of the Edos in Diaspora adding that the people need representation and accountability where they can channel all complains and investment driven ideas and partnership”