The Managing Director/CEO of Caesar Engineering and Construction Limited, Dr. Caesar Iyayi, has appealed to the newly re-elected Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, to focus on creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state during his second term in office.
Iyayi, who is also the Chairman of Iyayi Efianayi Foundation, made the appeal in his message of congratulations to the governor and his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu, on their victory in the September 19, 2020 governorship election.
According to Iyayi: “It is not sufficient anymore for anybody who is a governor or a sitting president to build a civic centre, renovate a school, build some roads, build some drainages and then you saying he is trying, that is not enough. We have to move to the next stage and I will suggest to you that if you want to build your name in posterity focus on helping the people of the state to overcome some of our challenges by identifying some of the things that we consume here and create enabling environment for local entrepreneurs to produce them.”
While describing Obaseki’s decision to establish a power plant as visionary and commendable, Iyayi said: “The power plant should be used to generate power that will be used to manufacture goods.”
While also acknowledging that he is a contractor, Iyayi said: “I would like to state two issues that could result to bias so that everybody will be in the know as to what my motives are. I am a contractor, but I want to put it loud and clear that I will not seek, and I will not accept any contract from Edo State government now or in the future. So, my intentions are not connected in any way with patronage. I am an Edo person; I am a Nigerian and I was visible. Although I stood within the corridors of my house. I watched every aspect of the election. Because I am not a politician, I did not vote, I do not have any card, I do not belong to any political party, I knew as a businessman, if I decided to vote for Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki wins, I will be in trouble, If I vote for Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu wins, I will also be in trouble. So, the best thing is to maintain a dignified neutrality which I did. So, I did not contribute a Kobo to anybody.
“But the election has been held and we have a winner, it is now our duty to congratulate the winner and to appeal for everybody to come together to build our state. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is my friend. I heard that he offered a message of congratulations to the governor, I do not know if that is true. I am also beginning to hear that he is considering or some of his party members are considering going to court to challenge the result. My brother, you are a pastor, you are a man of God, let Edo State have peace.
“The ambition of an individual should not supersede the ambition of the rest of the state. We all know that the election was free and fair. If it was not free and fair, believe me, I will not come out to congratulate the governor. I will only write to him and say congratulations. It was free, it was fair, it was credible.
“As a matter of fact, I never expected that Obaseki will win this election because the forces against him were numerous. I was worried about federal might. I was saying that can democracy in this country survive with the federal government deploying so many soldiers and police to determine the outcome of an election?
“And I said if I knew Obaseki, I would advise him to sit down at home, relocate to Lagos and continue your business but he knew what we didn’t know. He had the guts.”
While stating that there is a difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law and that the spirit of the law is superior, Iyayi said trying to hid under the letter of the law to truncate the will of the people will be unfair and injustice.
He therefore appealed to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to give peace a chance.
He also urged Governor Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory and unify the state.