Nollywood actress, moviemaker, broadcaster, business mogul and philanthropist, Princess Mabel Oboh penultimate week emerged the gubernatorial candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the upcoming Edo State 2020 governorship elections holding September 18 alongside her running mate, Reuben Edokpayi after she displaced Benjamin Akhigbe as the party’s flag bearer. In this chat, the producer of popular NTA TV series, Victims opens up on her vision and plans for Edo State.
How do you feel emerging ADC gubernatorial candidate in Edo State for the 2020 elections?
I am excited. Now I am certain that ADC Manifesto will be implemented in Edo State. Come September 18, ADC shall emerge the ruling party in Edo State by the grace of God. This is not just about me. My late dad, Major Humphrey Etafo Oboh served this nation diligently under the Gowon administration. He also worked under elder statesman, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo and he touched a lot of lives.
Believe it or not, my father and Obaseki’s father where good friends. So talking about my emergence as the governorship candidate of Edo State on the ADC platform, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I will ever emerge in any political position let alone as the governorship candidate for Edo State. All I wanted was to have an honest platform to serve the people and here I am today.
You have made a name for yourself as an actress, broadcaster and philanthropist, why politics?
I have always been passionate about the needy. If we all could reach out to the needy by contributing our own quota, then our country will be a better place. Talking about Ajegunle, I started back in the day by creating a platform for Ajegunle musicians and that movement gave birth to the likes of Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo and Daddy Fresh among a host of others. I also have Sadiq Dana, my NGO among many other charitable works that I am involved in especially as Covid-19 bites harder. And when the opportunity of getting into politics came along, I decided to latch unto it in order to expand my reach in helping the poor masses in our society.
The PDP is fielding Gov. Obaseki while APC is fielding Ize Iyamu. What is your take on this dramatic outcome and do you think you stand a chance as a female?
I don’t know anything about them. All I know is that they have failed Edo people and ADC as a party knows that its duty as leaders is to serve the people and rescue them from the ongoing exploitation. I was never interested in politics but through my party, Edo women and youths approached me to bail them out of their suffering. That I will do because I am a mother, a sister, an aunty and above all a humanitarian. People should go read up my records. I will not fail my people. Edo story must change. That I promise to do and it has nothing to do with gender.
Do you think Edo State is ready for a female governor?
Edo State is ready for change. They need a person that can deliver and that person happens to be a woman. A special, well exposed and intellectual woman; that is all that matters. My people are crying and as a mother, I must heed their cry and satisfy their needs. It is not about being a woman but about who can deliver the people.
This democratic dispensation started 21 years and we have been on a downward spiral and now we are known as the poverty capital of the world. ADC manifesto encapsulates my political beliefs. For ADC, the mission is rather than going down, in 20 years Nigeria should be an economic force and superpower, standing tall among the comity of nations alongside the USA, Singapore, UK, Germany and China.
I have my convictions and ideology and it fits very well with ADC’s manifesto. ADC is all about integrity. ADC believes in pedigree and honour. Our national Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu is a man of pedigree who wants the best for Nigeria. I truly believe that through ADC, Edo State and by extension, Nigeria will be saved.
What’s your agenda for Edo State?
We miss the good old days of late elder statesman, Anthony Enahoro. Edo State deserves transformation comparable to the good old days of Enahoro. It is tragic that as it is today, Edo State is now a shadow of its self. We need to create jobs, build infrastructure and invest massively in agriculture.
Edo State has very strong tourism potentials and we need to exploit them. Health care is another area we must invest in massively. We need to upgrade our hospitals, introduce subsidized health care and introduce health insurance for the less privileged. Education will be another focal point of my administration.
We need to invest massively in education because the children are our future hence the need to train and retrain teachers cannot be overemphasised. We also need to improve on the minimum wage and restore the self-esteem of the Edo people.
As a female politician, do you have any particular agenda for women and the youths?
Most definitely and it is for obvious reasons. We want more women in government. I would want to re-educate women in order to imbibe in our children who are the future leaders with moral values. Give them hope and encourage women to work hard. People say that it is a man’s world but I beg to differ.
I am not a feminist. I believe that God created men and women to complement each other. Women need to be motivated. And that support is prime on my agenda. Women are the ones that give birth to the men in the first place so if we think that they are not giving us equal opportunities then, let us change the way we nurture them. I
n other words, it is time to work together as women. Hard work is what has gotten me to this stage in my life and women should emulate that.
Through your NGO, you impacted the rise of Ajegunle music in the 1990s and we still feel the echoes of that movement today. What happens to this legacy if you eventually become governor?
Helping the less privileged is my life and my joy. It was a remarkable time for me I must confess watching Ajegunle music grow and attain national status even beyond the shores of Nigeria. My brother, when I become governor, the sky will be the limit.
Let me get something clear, helping people is not all about handing out alms to them but also creating opportunities for them to feed themselves and others while creating an environment where they could unlock their innate gifts and potentials and that is why I shall remain committed to the poor masses no matter what happens.