PDP Has No Anointed Candidate In Edo – Iduoriyekemwen | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Has No Anointed Candidate In Edo – Iduoriyekemwen

Posted: Mar 29, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

‘Economy  Of Edo, My  Greatest  Priority’

Hon Matthew Iduoriyekemwen is one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo gubernatorial elections coming up in September this year. Iduoriyekemwen who served two terms as a lawmaker representing Ikpoba-Okha constituency at the Edo State House of Assembly and also Commissioner in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in this interview with Francis Onoiribholo in Benin, said he is the most qualified person to take over from Adams Oshiomhole in November this year. He also spoke on other sundry issues. Excerpts:

How far have you gone with your electioneering campaign?

So far, the campaign is gathering momentum. Right now, I just joined the state executive to tour the 18 local government areas and I am sure that the field is okay, we have come across a lot of people, especially delegates, many people are now coming because everybody is committed towards taking Edo state to the next level and that is, the level of greatness which we think Edo state rightly deserve to be in the face of greatness in all the administrations. If you look at my campaign, we say greater is still possible but we will change that after the primaries hoping that we emerge for a greater Edo. We have declared a clear programme for the development of Edo state. The current APC government has done their bit and Edo state people have seen the best of the APC government but I want to  take governance to another level that will directly affect our people; that will make the people appreciate the essence of creating development by elected government, a government where we hope to redirect the economic structure of the state, where we hope to make a solid economic foundation for the overall development and economic growth of the state, where the people will see the direct effect of governance affecting them individually, a government that will be participating where everybody in Edo state will have a sense of belonging and see themselves as part of that government. A government that will go above parochial, partisan interest and see Edo and the interest of its people as first , second and third option.

Rumour making the round within your party is that some of your party leaders across the country, especially the Governors  are working round the clock to make sure that one of the aspirants, Osaro Onaiwu emerges as the anointed candidate, how true is that?

I don’t listen to rumours or work with speculations but I will tell you for sure that the valid candidate for the PDP is going to be determined and decided by the PDP members in Edo state. The support from the PDP governors across the country for the party to win in the state is not targeted at one particular aspirant. Every aspirant have to sell himself to the people. If they have to pride themselves about being in PDP, I think I should pride myself most among all the contestants. I have been in this party since inception, I have experience of legislature, I have served in NDDC, I have shown to people my account of stewardship, and I have all the experiences it takes to be governor over and above anybody when it comes to putting personal CV on the flood but then, personal politics is not like that. We all agreed as aspirants that every one of us competing should sell himself to the party members and whoever emerges, every other members of the party, irrespective of your own personal aspiration should join hands to ensure that PDP is delivered in the election of Edo state. If anybody comes out to say there is an anointed candidate in the PDP by anybody, there is no truth and there can be no truth in it.

Do you think that the PDP has what it takes to win Edo?
I have gone round most states in this country and I have seen states that Edo state is better position where the government has done extremely well. I always tell people, I don’t believe in criticising a particular government but I always tell people that with the funds that came to Edo state, I would have expected to see more on ground. Yes, the APC has done their very best and we have seen the best that can come out of them, now it is an opportunity to give room to somebody else even in the face of challenges to express himself and try to see what that person can achieve. There are many PDP states that you will go to and you will wonder if you are still in Nigeria because of the performances of the governor. In all of those states, both the allocation and the revenue profile are far below that of Edo state.

What is your reaction to Ali modu Sheriff emerging PDP National Chairman?
You should realize that PDP is in opposition but PDP still remains the biggest party in Nigeria, PDP still remains the party that has structures in all the local government in Nigeria. PDP remains the party that has the proper ideal of a political party, and because of those ideals, no matter the vastness of the country and the differences in individual trust, the party will remain the primary interest of loyal party members. But because of the way the party is too, you should expect divergent views when the issue of congresses comes. You must realise that there is one thing that is a denominator among all politicians and that is interest. So, it is virtual that some persons will prefer a particular candidate to be chairman of the party whether at the national level, state, local government or ward level but what is important is, once you become the chairman of the party, it is the interest of the management team of the party led by the chairman of the party and the national executive that the interest of the PDP must remain paramount and must come first. And what is that interest? To provide a government for Nigerians where Nigeria will have an even spread of development, where every Nigerians will feel that spirit of self belonging in the country, where you will see yourself as part of the country no matter which part of Nigeria you come from and I still believe that PDP is the only political party in this country with real party ideal.

What is your take on the anti corruption war by the President?
As far as I am concerned,  I am not against Mr. President fighting corruption but I am taken aback. I would have expected that all the time he needs to develop this country should not be used to talk about fight corruption.
If he is fighting corruption, it should be done holistically not selectively. That is why some persons say he is not fighting corruption but a persecution of the opposition because there are cases of persons that have been brought to the fore as governors and other APC people up till now that EFCC has not even thought to look at. There have been cases of people who have mismanaged funds. I pray that the EFCC does not reduce itself to becoming an instrument by presidency to hunt the opposition because that will be taking up to dictatorship, not democracy. If we allow him to continue like this, it is like we are taking three steps forward and about a hundred steps backward. The fight against corruption is commendable but he should not take all the efforts of government. Let all governors since 1999 till date come out to explain in single element what they did with their security votes. So there is nothing affecting PDP as a party, when they are doing what they are doing, let them also show to the world monies that are coming into this country how they are being spent.

What is your take on the Budget that was recently passed by the NASS?
For the first time, we are having issues with budget in a National Assembly that is APC controlled they could still criticise the budget that double budget was presented. We must know that Nigeria has to compete with countries that have respected us and see us as giant of Africa. We must know that there are things we must keep as Nigeria’s problems. Right now, the quality of life is stronger today and all you hear is that is due to the effect of the PDP led administration. If you knew there was a problem and you came with a mind to solve it so why almost one year into government you are still discussing the problem not the ways you want to solve it.
Today dollar is selling for almost N400 and we are being told we have not seen the last of it, nobody is addressing it. We are seeing foreign government policies that we know are not working. So, life is getting harder for the common man and you continue to lay blame on the previous administration when you are now in charge.

What will be your area of focus if elected Governor of Edo state?
In Edo state right now, we don’t have an economic base. One of the areas of trust for me is to lay an economic foundation for the state and when that becomes the focus of government issues, those basic things that are basic to lives are taken care of. Guaranteed food, clothing, shelter then you now think of security. If you take care of those things and there is security in this place, you are going to attract entrepreneurs and investors to come here to do business. As we speak in Edo state today, because of taxation, today many people are closing down businesses in Edo. Some persons are beginning to move to Asaba especially among those electronic dealers in Mission road in Benin. So as a government, those are the things to address first as soon as I am sworn-in in November.