-By Funmi Falobi-
Honourable Frederick Agbedi, a governorship aspirant and member of the House of Representatives, representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, has declared that women and youths have prime place in his government when he eventually becomes the governor of the state.
He also said that there is agenda for the grassroots people where his administration would ensure social inclusion at the grassroots level and cater for the welfare of the people through robust economy.
The present political dispensation in Nigeria has relegated women to the background both at the federal and states levels without achieving the 35 percent affirmative action on political position to women. However, Agbedi, a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State stated that his administration would identify competence among women and youths to run the oil rich state effectively.
“If you have been following my campaigns, there is no time women are not at the forefront making comments, raising supports, speaking on political issues and defending the campaigns. It is a matter of identifying competence. If you identify competence and you know the competent women you bring them to play. It is not just women but it is a matter of identifying competence.
“The question you are asking is like the question of saying the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. They are not leaders of tomorrow, they are leaders of today. It is the ability and capacity of the leaders to identify the youths who have the capacity to deliver. That is why I tell people, look, at River State when Diete-Spiff was made the Military Governor, all those who worked with him as commissioners were all youths and nobody has broken that record.
“It is the ability of the leader to identify competent hands that he would bring into governance that will deliver with their knowledge, agility and with their educational background. For me women are in the prime place as well as the youths in our administration,” he said.
Agbedi, who has four decades of experience in politics stressed that the grassroots people as well as the Bayelsans in general, are yearning for infrastructural development and socio-economy that would raise their standard of living and that he is ready to listen to them.
“The grassroots people are not outside the state, they are within the state. The grassroots people want employment, they want something to do that will put food on the table and give them income. They also want things that will bring infrastructure in terms of roads, electricity, improving the education system. That is what they are looking for because once you have a robust economy everybody will tap into it and then the issues of environment will be improved,” he said.
The politician explained that he would run the state differently as an experienced hand in a way that would improve industrialisation and build refinery to enhance the business environment of the state.