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PDP’ll win Edo guber despite APC’s presidential powers –LG boss

Hon. Louis Success Imhandegbelo was Senior Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki, on political matters and now Chairman, Esan South East Local Government Council. In this interview with OJIEVA EHIOSUN, he bore his mind on the current political development in Edo State. Excerpts:

What are you doing to checkmate the activities of Fulani herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers in your local government?

It is true that Esan South East Local Government has been under siege, security wise, but thank God for our amiable governor and the good people of Esan South East, joining hands with me to fight the ugly incident of these criminals who wanted life unbearable for our people particularly our farmers. The issue of security is not peculiar to one State alone; it is an epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. No matter how people see it, Edo State is still one of the most peaceful states in the country. Yes, some elements called Fulani herdsmen and bandits wanted to make life unbearable for the good people of Esan South East, but thank God for our quick response. You know that Nigeria has been un- der siege security wise, and no responsible government would want to expose its tactics or tell you how they want to battle enemies. All over the world, people are facing security challenges, so for us to have fought it to a standstill means that we want the best for our people and should be commended for being proactive.

Were you alone in this fight or you got support from the state government?

I must commend Godwin Obaseki for his great support as the Chief Security Officer of the State. Before my coming in as the local government chairman, a lot of things had gone wrong, our people were living in fear, you know that the people of Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State are farmers, and they earn their daily bread from farming. So for them to be chased out of the place they eke a living from is a kind of disgrace to us as leaders. So we made every effort to ensure we put a stop to it. It was actually becoming embarrassing for us as citizens of the place, we have to tell ourselves; ‘look we cannot fold our hands and allow foreigners chase our people away from their ancestral land’. It wasn’t an easy task, but we have to go extra- mile to make sure we do something drastic about it and put an end to the mess. We can see that activities of these un- derworld men had reduced drastically in Esan South East. Kudos to our governor, the leaders, our local security men and women, security agencies across the state and the good people of Esan land.

We are counting months to the 2024 September guber election, how prepared is PDP?

This is not the first time we are having an election in the state. This election will be the easiest for PDP to win. Governor Obaseki has done marvellously well in the past eight years. When Obaseki was com- ing as governor under APC, the talk was that he wouldn’t fly, he was not known. People said all sorts of things, but today he is regarded as one of the best governors in Nigeria. Other people are coming to Edo State to learn. He has shown that techno- crats are better leaders. For us in PDP, we are ready and prepared for the election. The governor promised that he will hand over power to Edo Central and today we are all working very hard to deliver our candidate Dr. Asue Ig- hodalo for our great party, PDP. Edo people need continuity, the present Government under Obaseki has delivered the dividend of democracy to the good people of Edo State. You will agree with me that Edo State is blessed with talented and intelligential men and women who have seen it all, so for us to keep enjoying what this government has put in place, we must throw our weights behind the person that can improve and build on the legacies of the outgoing government. The only person that can do that is Ighodalo of the PDP. We made a good choice and I know Edo people won’t regret the choice they have made.

The APC is already singing songs of victory believing that President Bola Tinubu will use presidential powers for APC. What is your take on this?

Edo people are warriors, Edo people are not people you push around, Edo people are conscious of their political environment, Edo people are not pushovers. Edo people are not cowards, an Edo man moved the motion for the Independence of Nigeria. Edo people will decide who becomes their leader, not a foreigner. President Tinubu is a core democrat, he knows what democracy is all about, and he became President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the ballot. So we won’t want to truncate the democratic process which he believes in. Anyone hoping and banking on Abuja to win election for him or her is daydreaming.

In all of this, are you saying that PDP will win the September governorship election in Edo State?

Yes, Edo State is a PDP State, and it will remain so. The present day electorates are no longer interested in party, they look at personality and their pedigree. We don’t need fraudulent people as our leaders; Edo needs people with great minds, people that have the world economic blueprint in their hands. Government House is not for ‘Tea and Butter’ people, but men with great minds. PDP will have an overwhelming victory come September.

There seems to be a crisis in the PDP family even at the national level, don’t you think it will affect the party?

We don’t have a crisis, PDP is one family, whatever is happening both at State level or national level will be resolved. Husband and wife do have issues, but they also settle it themselves. You journalists are the ones making it look big. Today in America there is a political crisis, so in a democratic setting, there must be some people who are not always comfortable with certain decisions. PDP will overcome. The most important thing is that Esanland will produce the next governor, so kudos to Obaseki. For our great party, we are going to run our campaigns on people’s oriented pro- gram, not pull-him-down syndrome. We are not foreigners in our land; we know what Edo people want, we will deliver the dividend of democracy to our people. So I urged all PDP members to support our candidate Barrister Dr. Asue Ighodalo for the September 2024 governorship election.

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