…Vows to chase out APC
…Promises to revive state’s economy in three years
By Dirisu Yakubu
Ahead of the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo state, an aspirant, Gideon Ikhine has vowed to chase out the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, out of Osadebe Avenue, if given the nod to fly the party’s ticket.
Ikhine who stated this yesterday shortly after submitting his Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja, told newsmen that the PDP in Edo state under the leadership of Lucky Igbinedion has resolved to work together to put an end to the tenancy of APC at Osadebe Avenue.
Dismissing fears that being from Edo Central may count against him, the governorship aspirant noted that zoning had not been in the interest of the party in the past few years.
He said: “As you know in Edo state in the last 12 years, we have been in the opposition. In the last election if you recall, we fielded Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu from Edo South and we lost that election. Before that, we fielded General Charles Airhiavbere and we lost that election too.
“So in the wisdom of the party leadership under the leadership of Chief Lucky Igbinedon, the party leaders met this time and resolved that we don’t need to zone it to any part of the state. So the governorship is open to every part of the state so that we can get the best candidate. Like you know I am from the Central zone and we have never fielded any candidate for governorship in Edo state and lost.
“What is playing out now is what played out in 2007, when the chairman of the party was from Edo Central and also the governorship candidate who was then Oserhiemen Osunbor. They won that election for us.
“And Osunbo is from the local government where I come from, and he won the governorship then in 2007. So, if you are a student of history, you will know that when God wants to do his thing, his patterns are always right. God does not change his pattern.
He pledged to diversify the state’s revenue base even as he chided the APC for failing to give previous PDP administrations in the state, the credit they deserve.
“The administration of Igbinedion started so many projects in agriculture, including agric processing plants which the APC administration did not sustain.
“Edo state is presently a consumer state. We are not producing. And we keep depending on federal allocations. I want to let you know that where we are going right now in the country , is not a place where we need people who do not have industrial experience.
“We need someone who is going to turn the state back to a government that is self sustaining. I want to assure you that under my watch, in three years, Edo will no longer depend on Abuja for survival.
“I am coming with strong industrial experience. I am coming with strong capacity to liberate my people in Edo state from darkness to light.
“If you look at my vision for Edo state, I said Edo is going to be a destination of choice for anybody coming not just to Nigeria but to Africa because we have things that we can develop, that can make us to be self sustaining and I am going to focus more on agriculture and industrialisation,” he added.
Ikhine was accompanied to Wadata Plaza by top PDP stalwarts from the Edo state chapter.