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Tinubu Saved Nigeria From Becoming Venezuela, But PDP’s Ighodalo Stands Tall In Edo,” Says APC Chieftain Odigie

“Whether we like it or not, Asue Ighodalo stands out as an Edo governorship candidate, says APC Chieftain Emmanuel Odigie.

A Chieftain of the All-Progressives’ Congress (APC), Prince Emmanuel Odigie, has said that even though he remains a staunch supporter of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2024 Edo elections stand out amongst all the candidates for the upcoming election.

The APC Chieftain said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday while declaring his support for Asue Ighodalo to become the governor of Edo State.

Odigie, who is also a member of the Edo Integrity Group, said, “We all know that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu just came on board, and what is happening today is not his making. And I’m sure Nigeria would have long nose dived, you know, gone down beyond where it is today, would have been Venezuela if not for the courageous leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“But are Edo people happy? The answer is no, with the Federal government, the answer is no, they’re not. The cost of living is high, that’s true. Fuel is selling for N850, that’s true. The exchange rate is not helping matters, that is true. But coming to the state, are the workers happy with the N70,000 minimum wage of Godwin Obaseki? They are. Are the teachers happy with the 80% increment? They are. So, APC has a lot of work to do.”

He went on to say, “The foundation of this problem is the lack of internal democracy. You know, if there is no internal democracy, we can never achieve good governance.”

Saying that he has the best interests of Edo people at heart, Odigie said, “I am a realist. I am a firm believer of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and I also fought to ensure power return to central. Power rotation, fairness, equity is key for me. And I will tell you without mincing words that this election is about the candidates’ capacity. Whether we like it or not, Asue Ighodalo stands out, he stands tall.”

“Asue Ighodalo is everybody’s man, he’s my man (for the role of Edo governor) because I want a better Edo, I want a better Nigeria. Olumide Akpata is not bad, but for the fact that Edo South, his local government, has been governor for eight years, we cannot afford to continue with that,” he added.

Addressing the division in the APC, the Chieftain said, “The primaries that took place in Edo was a disgrace in my opinion and in opinion of so many other people. You know, APC has never been so divided, there are different groups. There are those that call themselves the Integrity group who have said they will make a statement soon to disassociate themselves from the present candidate. There are some that said, oh, we do not believe in the candidate, but because we believe in President Asiwaju’s renewed Hope Agenda, they will stay and will not vote for the candidate.

“There are some that have said… “this one will let us use”, that are ready to campaign and work for the candidate, and there are some that said, ‘we go just sit down, dey look’. APC has never been so divided, you cannot see any of the opponents, you know, those who were interested in the race, coming together to campaign for the candidate, and Edo people have not seen the candidate coming out to speak to Edo people.”

Odigie was then asked if he was prepared to resign from the APC due to their governorship candidate choice, to which he replied, “By the time the Integrity Group has agreed, I am ready to resign, because, I will tell you the truth, Edo cannot afford, Edo Central, where I’m from, has produced two professors as governors. We must present our best to Edo people, and the best from Edo Central from amongst the two is Asue Ighodalo. I’m telling you, verify the antecedents. The Okpebholo has no verifiable antecedents.

“The powers that be in APC, those that determine what happens in the party, have taken a position that they cannot afford to present a Monday Okpebholo who does not know the difference between a zoo and a museum.”

The Chieftain was then asked whether his actions could be compared to anti-party activities which could get him kicked out of the APC, to which he replied, “When the present Minister of FCT declared support for Asiwaju based on principles, what happened? We are declaring support for Asue Ighodalo based on principles, based on fundamental principles, and we are ready to outline it on that open letter to the president. And if they want to expel us or suspend us from the party, so be it. That will not stop us from supporting the Renewed Hope of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. But I am more Edo. I am first and Edo man, and Esan man, the intellectual hub of Edo from Edo-Central, Edo, before APC. I am more interested in the wellbeing of Edo people that any partisan politics.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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