The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has slated September 19, for the governorship election in Edo State. In this interview, Hon. Omorege Ogbeide-Ihama who is representing Oredo Federal Constituency and Committee Chairman on Culture & Tourism in the House of Representatives on the platform of PDP, reveals to MYKE UZENDU why he will be next Chief Executive of the state.
What gives you confidence that you will win the party’s primary and become the next governor of Edo state.
I can tell you that all three of us who have indicated interest to govern the state under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are qualified to run for election in Edo State. The most important thing now is the delegates, the delegates will be in a position to assess all three of us and I can tell you that I stand out to win the primary’s because I have won elections before in the heart of Edo State. My constituency is the capital of Edo state. It may interest you to know that the first election, I won in 2015 has Adams Oshiomhole as the governor of the state and I was in opposition, my opponent was the sitting speaker from APC.
The second one is the same thing, the governor is from my own constituency and from APC and I won again. I won both elections with double digit lead and no court cases, it was so convincing. The people of Edo state and especially my constituency which is the heart of Edo state, they have shown clearly that they have confidence in me and I have also been able to show them that I can stand up and represent them.
The present governor Obaseki is also from your local government and has only spent four years. Don’t you think that the electorate will naturally vote for him for another four years so that power can shift to another zone.
Talking about four years tenure, first of all Edo south is still on board. I don’t have any problem with rotation but Edo south is still on board and I am from Edo South and if the Governor is from Edo south then it is going to be an election between the governor and I. We are not talking about four years, we are talking about who is able to deliver the dividend of democracy.
If you see what is happening in Edo today, you will imagine that the people are yearning for that change, that transformation, that restoration to the days of great men like Samuel Ogbemudia and Ambrose Alli. This is the time to deliver to the people their rights and dividends.
What will you do differently when you are elected
The whole idea is a call to service. I am on a mission to do things differently in Edo which will span across board, from the economic situation, agricultural revamp, human capacity building etc. For me I think that we have passed a situation where people die of very basic and avoidable ailment. Our hospitals must be brought up to standards to meet with international standard. Our security system must be well equipped and properly managed. We must have a database of those that are governed in the state. Employment is very key while education is another angle that drives development. All of these we shall do differently. There are schools there right now but how many of them are well equipped, how many of the teachers are well trained, all of these we will bring on-board. So it is going to be a broad spectrum.
Can you give specific and concrete democratic deliverable you will bring on board.
In Edo state, we used to be the highest and largest producers of palm from NIFOR. Malaysia took seedlings from there and today they are the largest producers of palm. What happened, we still have the same soil, we still have the same land mass, what happened to the palm produce, Cassava, rubber, all of these we shall revamp in a very large mechanized scale. The drive is to be able to feed ourselves and to be able to make money from it. We have the land mass, we have the human capacity and the entire value chain is essentially what we are going to drive. We shall pick the specifics where we do well and also look at the areas that we have not explored.
We need to tap on the potentials of our youths, we are going to start ICT and technology as a key point of my administration. We are going to get people that will start to develop softwares and all of these will enhance the entire developmental process.