HON. MATTHEW Iduoriyekemwen was at one time the Majority Leader in the Edo State House of Assembly and subsequently became the commissioner representing Edo State in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. In this interview, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP chieftain projects the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections. Excerpts:

HON. MATTHEW Iduoriyekemwen was at one time the Majority Leader in the Edo State House of Assembly and subsequently became the commissioner representing Edo State in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. In this interview, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP chieftain projects the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections. Excerpts:

What are the chances of President Jonathan wining in Edo State?

Iduoriyekemwen: We’ve all learnt our lessons

Edo State is a PDP state not minding the change of government which happened that we now became opposition in the state. Edo State and Edo people are progressives.

They appreciate the achievements of the PDP and Mr. President. From all the responses we have been getting from our campaigns, I believe Mr. President will win Edo State convincingly.

My joy is that Nigerians appreciate what Mr. President is doing, the man has done well and I have never hidden the fact the president has done better than every other president I have seen in this country. A man that is doing well should be encouraged to continue with his programmes of transforming and developing the country.

They talk of corruption. Yes, now do you say a man is fighting corruption by hanging all those who are perceived to be corrupt? We have the police, ICPC, EFCC and Code of Conduct Bureau and the judiciary. Mr. President has provided for them all the funds  they require to perform their constitutional responsibilities. That to me is fighting corruption.

It is only when people come out to say there are corrupt cases that government has suppressed or subverted that you can say he is not fighting corruption. President Jonathan has done well; all Nigerians should encourage him and make sure he is re-elected to continue with the good works that he is doing.

Can anybody direct the Binis on the direction to vote?

I am a Bini man and there is no Bini man no matter how highly placed that can tell the entire Bini nation on where to go politically. The Oba of Benin is our father, our traditional leader and even at that, he is also the father to all Binis irrespective of political affiliation.

So, the Oba of Benin is apolitical, so no one Benin person can direct the Binis on where they should go politically. Bini leaders in PDP can direct them on where they should vote, so, also, APC leaders can direct the Binis in the party on where they should go.

That the Binis as a people should go to one particular political direction is not for any one person to say. The issue of who to support or not to support are issues of personal convictions which deal with the individual.

Do you agree with some that the Binis have been marginalized by the Jonathan administration?

Looking at it holistically, one would agree that the Benin people have not been patronized by this current administration as a people. The Bini people, yes, they are not really in Jonathan’s government, I cannot point to any Bini man right now that is holding any position in the Federal Government and in any capacity whether as a Minister, Special Adviser or Senior Special Assistant or as a Director – General in any federal establishment. So, in that regard, I can say yes, that the Binis are really being marginalized by the Jonathan administration.

I cannot point to any Bini man that has been appointed to any position since the present administration has been in place. But before now yes; the PDP administration surely patronized some Binis, but pointing solely to this Jonathan’s administration, none. So, I take side with my people that the Bini people have been marginalized.

How do you think that the Binis can work to produce the next governor of the state in 2016?

I will say that it is only fair to the Bini people that the whole state should agree with us that Edo South should produce the next governor. That is the agitation of our people, that is their wish, that is their hope for 2016.

And irrespective of the fact that the political leaders will sit down to decide where and who gets it. I think that asking that Edo South should produce the next governor of the state is not out of place.

Is it true that you are in the race?

You know I am a politician and you know that I tried to run in 2012 and I was not successful. However, God willing, and if the conditions are right, it is still my hope and wish and aspiration. I am not shying away from the ambition, but the most important thing is that we have to first and foremost ensure  that the PDP wins the elections which are so immediate. The governorship election is in 2016, and I know that a lot of people are working and seem to be interested. But we cannot do this  now when we nave major elections at hand.

How do you rate Oshiomhole Performance?

I tried as much as possible not be dragged into the issue of performances. I know Edo people have eyes and they can see. Here is a man who is trying to the best of his ability because that is the best he can offer. But you and I know that Edo State can be better than what it is now.

So, it is not for somebody to say that he is not performing or performing. Yes, give it to him that he performed in some areas. In his first term, he tried to do some roads and all that, but in his second term, he left governance completely, you cannot come out of your houses in the GRA once it rains all over the city.

As I always said, after elections, as citizens, we should encourage government to perform. My own assessment this time around is not impressive.

 

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