Ahead of the June 20 gubernatorial primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Edo State, one of the governorship aspirants, Chief Solomon Edebiri has said that the state is ripe for the PDP, if the party would field the right candidate.
Edebiri, who spoke in an interview with journalists in Lagos recently, said he is the right candidate to deliver the state to the party, noting that his antecedent speaks for him. The governorship aspirant stated that the people of the state know that he understands their challenges and the solution to them, adding that once the PDP fields him as its candidate, the September 10 governorship poll will be a walkover for the party.
How prepared are you for the party’s primaries?
One exciting thing is that the PDP is prepared to do the right thing and that is encouraging and we’re going to continue to encourage the leaders to try and ensure that they keep faith to their promise to do the right things. The era of imposition is gone. The state at the moment is ripe for PDP. Like I said sometimes ago, the only thing that can make PDP to fail is PDP itself. But I am confident that they would do the right things.
If you have stayed too much in the dark, you begin to see and no one will like to stay in
the rat hole or the rabbit hole for too long, otherwise they will chase you like they’re chasing rabbit and that will be done with smoke. I believe that PDP is ready to do the right thing and we are going to start the takeover of government from Edo State down to Ondo State and in 2019, to Nigeria. PDP will be back in power again. And so we can bring wealth back to the people, create wealth for the people and make life better for the people. We will not promise change that is a pain; we will promise change that people want, the change that they want to have, that’s the kind of change we promise not a retrogressive change; not change that allow one step forward and twenty steps backward. No! But I believe that we are obviously ready.
What are your motivations for wanting to govern the state?
Those things that I said that were wrong have not changed. A lot of things I saw that were wrong when I first contested for this position, none of them has changed. Look at it critically, I cried in 2012 that the industries were being castrated; I cried that none of the moribund industries has been revived; did they revive anyone? I cried that no industry is being created; how many have been created? I cried that there is no capacity building for teachers; how many teachers have been sent for in-service training? Our civil servants are not being trained, they are not being equipped. Now, how many have been sent? How many have been upgraded? I cried about our primary health situation; tell me across the 192 wards, tell me how many cottage hospitals have been established, none. I cried about poor educational facilities; yes we have red roofs and red walls, but tell me how many of the schools have laboratory, how many have libraries, how many of them have competent teachers, how many? I cried about the low development, lack of interest in our agricultural system, tell me how many agric products are we developing and how many of our farmers have been encouraged. Where and where do we have extensive mechanized farming that we can start exporting food as much as we can? I can go on and on.
If I turn the question around and ask you, you tell me how many of these things have changed? Because if they have changed, I have no reason to contest again.
I have this vision to make all these things change and because I have this vision to make all these things change and they have not changed, then therefore, I have to come back here to try and make the change to happen. And so that is obviously the major reason that I am back here in 2016, hoping this time it will work out and as soon as it works out, we’ll be ready for the change that we sincerely require, that the people want to see, that the people want to have; not just change but positive change.
What is the chance of the PDP in this coming governorship election?
As you can see, Nigerians are aware that APC came to deceive them. Everything they promised, no one is working and they are also aware that APC knows how to change the
colour of anything; from the original colour to a different colour with ease, leaving the real colour and painting it in another colour.
So, Nigerians are now the wiser. Edo State has seen that even in the last three years, governance has not been felt. What the people of Edo State are seeing now is a mirage now; they think there is a river in front, they don’t know it is just a flat surface of the reflection of the sun and so, they see nothing. That is what governance in Edo State is now. Nothing is happening anymore.
They saw a different Oshiomhole in the first tenure to the Oshiomhole they’re seeing in the second tenure. But for me, it is just the challenge that PDP should face, realizing well now that APC has failed the people; so PDP should rise to the challenge and the first step they are going to take is coming out with a credible primaries; that is a credible primaries, and then push a candidate forward for the final election of September 10 and knowing full well that PDP will not promise what they will not do. People have now come to realize, having compared both; one ruled for eight years, another has ruled for eight years; they have seen the difference. So, they are now ready to vote PDP because PDP has a listening ear.
So for now, the whole of Edo people know that the only way to a viable future, the only way to a profitable future is to bring PDP back to power in Edo State.
You talked about PDP doing the right thing; that if they do the right thing, they will win. What is that right thing?
It is just to eliminate the issue of one man sitting in one room and writing list. Three, four sitting down and say this is the candidate we want to take; they should allow the people to be part of the process. Power should go back to the people. They said PDP – Peoples
Democratic Party, power to the people. That slogan we should honour it and give power back to the people. When the people are allowed to partake in the election of the candidate, the candidate will be responsible to the people and the people can call the candidate their
own. But when you select the candidate in one room by five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten people and give to the people, it’s not the people’s candidate; it is the leader’s candidate. They didn’t involve the people. I have nothing against leadership, leaders taking decision, but they must allow the inputs of the people that follow them; they should provide leadership, they should provide guidance and allow the people to take decisions to say this is the man we think can lead us. If that is done, eighty percent of APC members will move to PDP, then you will see mass exodus, solid exodus and at the end of the day, PDP will just walk to the poll of September 10 and just harvest the votes.
What is your unique selling point in this race? Why should people trust you, why should people choose you among the other competitors?
Well, my experience in the business world. Two, the understanding that PDP needs to create a corporate entity out of Edo State. I have said many times that the only way we can take Edo State to any level is to run Edo State like a corporate institution; with profit making in mind, just like a complete businessman and they know among everybody that I am the only proven businessman. I have been in the business world for 27 years and I’ve been part of this state. During the Lucky Igbinedion administration, you are aware that for four, five years, I sponsored Bendel United(football club) here. I was giving to government; I have never taken from government. I have always been giving to government.
So, I understand the problems of Edo State, they know I do. I understand their challenges, they know I do. I also understand how to take them out of it, they know I do. I have done my research and done my homework and they understand my degree of business knowledge, my experience, they also know that I have been helping different institutions to find solutions to their challenges and they know that I understand the challenges we are facing. I also have the way of finding solution to them. So, I am a round peg in a round hole and of course, that experience is available to them in town now. Those are my selling points and I believe it is the strongest selling point anybody can have at this time when Edo State is passing through a tortuous moment economically, socially and otherwise.
Source: By Ndubuisi Orji. sunnewsonline.com