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Postponement gives us room to showcase APC’s achievement, Obende


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Senator Domingo Obende

Senator Domingo Obende

Senator Domingo Obende is the chairman, Media and Publicity, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Campaign Council. In this interview with journalists he declared that the PDP in Edo State lacks credible leadership to deliver their factional governorship candidate. ALEMMA-OZIORUVA ALIU reports.

How is your party adjusting to the postponement of the election?
We have prepared so hard and we believe and we know that the voters are behind us that we are going to win. Secondly, I am also happy because Edo has not been known to be a place where violence is the order of the day. If for security reasons, as stated by both the Police and the DSS, this shift is realised, I think I am happy for it presupposes, come 28 of September the election will be peaceful.

We have heard talks about APC forcing postponement, but first and foremost, APC never imported any thug. Secondly, we are not harbouring anybody; thirdly we did not bring persons to come and register that are not from Edo State. What do we have to lose, nothing. What is more, our strength are the voters and we have them behind us, they are not going to die or shift. So for us, any time any day we are ready for the election and I can bet you that the gap is going to be even wider now than we had imagined we are going to win.

Is the current economic hardship affecting your party’s campaigns?
Things are tough, but it is not peculiar to Edo. Here in Edo State, there is no governor that you can compare with Oshiomhole. You can talk about Gen. Ogbemudia yes, but Oshiomhole is fantastic. If you compare Oshiomhole’s work and that of other governors, if they had one at all, you will find out they are not at per at all. And that is a big plus for us in this election. The two weeks they gave us is a two weeks of grace, where we will showcase all the things we have done. And what is more, it has given us the opportunity to reintroduce our candidate across the state.

For the economic situation, everybody knows that the whole world is in total recession and PDP brought us into this problem. We cannot leave the past to blame the current person in government not finding solution to the problem. APC promised three things, security, economy, fighting corruption. Right now we all know who collected our money without doing anything. Right now we all know why the economy has tilted to this way. What APC is doing is trying to rebuild Nigeria and put it in a solid foundation for growth.

The PDP insists it will win the governorship; does that bother you?
There is this adage that says a house divided by itself cannot stand. PDP, as we speak has no clear-cut leadership and for that I don’t think anybody would want to take PDP seriously in Edo State. They have two factional governorship candidates – Ize-Iyamu and Iduoriyekemwen. So, how will they win? PDP has had a pattern of leadership in Edo State for more than 10 years and that did not lead us to any developmental stride as far as Edo State is concerned. Then Comrade started in the past seven and half years; and he started performing and that was part of the failure of the leadership of the PDP.

For me, I do not think any Edo man, having seen or known these experiences on the part of the leadership of PDP; that anybody will believe that PDP leaders will allow any elected person in PDP to perform. When you look at it clearly, you will ask, who are the people that actually destroyed PDP in Edo State; and of course development in Edo State? The moment money comes they share. And I don’t think any Edo man wants to do that right now. I know clearly that we have taken clear study about this issue and that is why a lot of us have resolved that it must be APC all the way.

Why is it APC all the way, because Comrade in seven years has given us development we never anticipated. He may have his private issues with people, but has he performed, the answer is yes. Has he done what exactly he was voted for; the answer is yes. Did he as a politician deliver in his promises; the answer is yes.

Go and check after Ogbemudia’s days, who else can compare with Comrade, nobody else; because he was not under the control of some leadership. And that is the same way we feel that bringing in Obaseki, he is going to following the same way of Comrade’s development strategy.

Do you agree with former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, that Igbinedion family will produce the next governor of Edo State?
First and foremost, my brother Lucky Igbinedion knows who Oshiomhole is, he was one of those who brought Oshiomhole, so you can say Oshiomhole is equally part of that family. So we have already produced two governors from that family, Igbinedion himself and Oshiomhole. Now, we cannot allow three brothers to rule us in Edo State from the same family. Oshiomhole came from Lucky’s angle and as at that time, Chief Anenih was angry until they met and had a meeting point. But as you know Oshiomhole needed to be his own man so as to fulfill his campaign promises and that was where he had issues with these people, which is good for the people of the state.

Lucky is our brother, so he brought another of our brother Oshiomhole who is completing his eight years. So we don’t want him to go and bring another person from the same family. We are satisfied with Oshiomhole that he gave to us and we are going to get another governor from another family, in the person of Obaseki. 
  And of course, for Ikimi, he is a man that likes talking big and that is his style. But I will advise him to win his polling unit first for his party before talking about winning the general election. He knows what I mean, so I don’t need to expatiate.

So, can you justify this postponement?
For me, the postponement of the election has been justified. First and foremost we saw militants being charged to court in Edo State. Some are still facing interrogation. Secondly, the tension in Edo State has come down very drastically. You don’t find people walking as if tomorrow we are going to die. That has calmed down. And security agencies have strategized; they have now known the positions to place their men. For me, the postponement of this election is going to give us another wide margin we need in our election. For PDP, I think they will keep crying wolf because they know why, its like I have made an arrangement that tomorrow I will do something, but I could not. PDP is lost now because they are finding it difficult to re-strategize and energize. That is the problem they are having. For us, in APC, we are going to win the election because we have embarked on more strategy, we are doing more work to ensure that we win and we are going to win.



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