By LUCKY OJI
Dr. Francis Inegbeniki, was the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senatorial candidate for Edo Central in the March 28 general election.
In this interview with journalists, Inegbeniki said the agitation by the people of Edo Central to produce the next governor of the state in 2016, is non negotiable, and which is being supported by all stakeholders in the state, for the purpose of justice, equity and fair play.
Sir, you will recall that recently there was a publication by Esan Youth Movement insisting that it was the turn of Edo central to produce the next governor in 2016, do you think the incumbent governor, Adams Oshiomohle will support it?
I think it is too early to discuss the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, because our governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is still working and in my personal opinion the Comrade Governor should not be distracted with issues of governorship election holding far away in 2016.
However, to answer your question, first, let me enlighten you that our party the All Progressives Congress, preaches change which means we cannot continue doing things the old ways.
This change includes zoning the next governorship position to Edo central which had only occupied the governor’s office for just 18 months. The APC in Edo State, are determined to practice what we preach, that is equity, justice and fair play.
The people of Edo Central are demanding to produce the next governor to take over from Oshiomhole in 2016. Honestly, I think the people of Edo South, which had occupied the position for over nine years and Edo North presently completing its eight years in that office in the person of Oshiomhole should not argue about it.
In that publication by Esan Youth Movement, they explained why Edo Central should be allowed to produce Oshiomhole’s successor. According to them, which is very correct, the present National chairman of our great party, APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun is from Edo South, who eventually ruled the state for a period of one year and eight months. And in 1999, for the spirit of togetherness the leaders then agreed that since Edo South did not complete their tenure they should be allowed to take the first shot, and Chief Lucky Igbinedion had the golden opportunity to govern the state for eight years.
So in 2007, the governorship slot was zoned to Edo Central and Prof. Osariemen Osunbor emerged the governor with the cooperation of the two other senatorial districts. However, the tribunal removed him from office and declared Comrade Adams Oshiomhole ( Edo North) as governor, who is serving his second term to complete eight years.
I can confidently tell you that Oshiomhole will zone the governorship to Edo Central in 2016, because he believes and preaches equity, fairness and Justice, which is the mantra of our great party, APC.
But sir, are you really convinced that leaders of the APC from Edo South and North senatorial districts would allow the governorship to be zoned to Edo Central?
In Edo State, the APC is one big family, all the APC leaders across the three senatorial districts are very much aware that it is the turn of Edo Central to produce the next governor, however, Edo South may also be eyeing the office but I know they would support Edo Central on this matter.
When Edo Central takes over in 2016, after eight years by the grace of God, the governorship will eventually return to Edo South, that is how people should live together in love and harmony.
It is believed that APC leaders in Edo South are putting pressure on Gov Oshiomhole to zone the governorship to Edo South again
That is not true; our brothers in Edo South are even more convinced that it is the turn of Edo Central to produce the next governor.
And I want to thank the APC leaders and our brothers in Edo South, for their understanding and for supporting the zoning of the governorship to Edo Central in 2016. Sincerely, we must continue to love ourselves, live in peace and harmony as one inseparable big family.
Sir, it is believed that Oshiomhole’s successor must be someone who can build on his legacy, do you have such a person in Edo Central?
Of course yes, we have many of them in Edo Central who are very competent, willing and determined to build on the legacy of our amiable governor, Oshiomhole.
The governor, Oshiomhole has few months ahead to complete his second term, how would you rate his achievements?
Perfect, the people of Edo State are proud of him, in fact, Governor Oshiomhole has transformed the state, and however, for those in doubt, they are free to visit Edo State to see things for themselves.
So far, the administration of Oshiomhole has been very fruitful and dynamic; I’m convinced that Oshiomhole has done what God sent him to do in Edo and for the people.
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seems not be seeing the achievements of Oshiomhole?
The PDP in Edo State are only pretending not to see the good works and laudable achievements of Oshiomhole. They pretend not to see Oshiomhole’s achievements, yet they are driving their cars on roads constructed by him, they are enjoying other several infrastructural facilities built by the governor and they are still claiming ignorance of his achievements. This is very bad and must stop, may God continue to help the people of Edo State.