"I have always insisted that Edo remains under the federal government because this is the heartbeat of the nation."
Charles Airhiavbere, a retired major-general, has joined the Edo 2024 governorship race on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said this at a meeting of some APC leaders in Benin on Monday.
Mr Airhiavbere, a former executive director of Finance and Administration at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said it was time for the APC to reclaim the state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
"So, I have contested an election in Edo State to lead Edo people to a land of prosperity, a land of safety and a land of infrastructural development and that is why, five days after I retired in 2011, I joined the party at the federal level at that time.
"I could not have just been leaving the army and I come to Edo and face the opposition.
"I contested the party primaries seven months after I retired and won the PDP ticket because my programmes were laudable; they were clinically explained that these were the programmes I have for the Edo people."
The retired major-general said he left the PDP for the APC in 2016 because the APC was in control of the federal government, adding that "I have always insisted that Edo remains under the federal government because this is the heartbeat of the nation."
He said getting the APC to win the Edo governorship election is "a task that must be done."
"That is why I decided to throw in my cap into the ring. We must be prepared. For a political party in opposition, I have experienced it. I have been on both sides; being in opposition, being in government and I know what it is.
"This is an opportunity for me to give you my scorecard of what we have done in NDDC. When I got there, we didn't have approved budgets from 2021, 2022 and 2023 and these are things we put in place in less than five months of my stay in NDDC," he said.