Engineer Gideon Ikhine is an Ekpoma born politician and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State. The PDP aspirant for the governorship race, in this interview with OJIEVA EHIOSUN, spoke on a number of issues. Excerpts:
As an aspirant seeking for 2020 gubernatorial ticket under the PDP, do you think you have the political muscle to push APC out in 2020?
With my recent tour of the 192 wards in state, I have discovered that Edo State is still a PDP state despite the loss of power to APC some years back. I am a man whose personality is driven by the mantra ‘Challenge your Challenges’. It is very unfortunate that PDP lost the seat of power in the state to APC, but that power can be gotten back if only we can work as one invisible people.
During my tour of the three senatorial zones in the state, I saw the passion and burning desire of our people to have PDP back to the driver’s seat in Edo. Despite the fact that APC, with their jungle style of winning elections in Nigeria, the average Edo person is praying for the return of PDP both at the state and federal level. I am in the race for the PDP governorship ticket to change the ugly system, restore hope and dignity to the good people of this state. Edo people are clamouring for good governance, Edo people are clamouring for a peaceful environment where they can go to bed with their two eyes closed. Our people want a government that is Good fearing, Edo people want a society where they can easily gain access to the government they voted into power, not a government that will keep them in perpetual slavery.
Won’t the party to be affected by its internal crisis?
Look, let’s not make mistake about it, PDP presently is one united family, very focused and determined to regain our lost glory in the state. With what my campaign team has done so far, I am very sure that I will emerge victorious at the end of the day. What are you offering the people in case you pick the PDP ticket? Our restoration programme is aimed at rebuilding the fabrics of Edo State and laying a new foundation for socio-economic prosperity in the state.
I am out to restore Edo State back to glory and make it become a global destination of choice. We would also embark on rebuilding of infrastructure and human capacity backbones, established in the past through creative integration of institutional values, viable communal economy, productive and not a consuming economy. We are also committed to reviving the Bini Empire Cultural heritage for a more global acceptance.
How would PDP avoid the mistakes of the past, taking about imposition, among others?
P D P as a party from incept i o n had a c l e a r vision of integrating every citizen of the state from the grassroots in the governance of the state.
We would try as much as possible to avoid mistakes of the past, like politics of winner’s takes all and losers losing all. Politics of exclusion and cash and carry politics practiced in Nigeria have not given room for true democratic practice; it has denied the electorates of knowing those who are true democrats. All these must be replaced with a new approach and new outlook to national politicking. I know we have people who have been offended in one way or the other, but we will strive to reconcile all the forces alienated by recent political events. We will also try to heal divisions and destruction of our harmony caused by the ruthless competition for power in the recent past. So, we won’t allow personal greed to override our sense for public building.
This new innovative PDP is filled with people of vision, purpose and God-fearing. As PDP faithful and aspirant for 2020, I have come to realise that Edo people needs talented individuals who can contribute their growth to development, not parasites, whose aim is to perpetually feed on the state.
The present situation in Edo requires a visionary and experienced leader who have created or built business with track record of performance and delivery in our economy.