Rt. Hon Paul Ohombamu, a former Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly is the campaign spokesman for Senator Monday Okpebholo, a frontline governorship aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Edo State. He spoke on the chances of Edo popular National Assembly member.
QUES:Why is Sen. Monday Okpeholo is contesting the 2024 governorship?
You see, every human being must have an internal locus of evaluation. He has done a lot, of course, we have seen politics of annihilation, arrogance of power and in Edo state, you see social dislocation and institutional collapse, these are certain deficits and things that can drive anybody to take certain action. And when a man is called upon to take certain steps to correct an error of maladies which the state is suffering presently is one of the driving forces.
Even as a non-state actor, Akpakomiza, has embarked on many interventionist measures where the government has failed especially in the areas of health, education, agriculture and transportation especially in the commanding heights of the economy. Before he went to the senate, he never wanted to contest, he needed someone else but nobody was forthcoming so he had to present himself. And it is the first time APC is winning a senatorial seat in that senatorial district in a PDP dominated zone but he defeated the PDP incumbent, Sen. Clifford Ordia. As the chairman of public procurement he is saddled with responsibility of over 950 agencies and parastatals and of course you know what that means.
Ques: This is the first time he is going to the senate, do you think he will do better if given the opportunity to govern Edo state in 2024?
The truth of the matter is that even being a member of the senate, he has been given a sensitive position as the chairman of public procurement even before account is public procurement and that shows the confidence and the level of trust the senate leadership has on him and that speaks to his capability and merit. Senator Okpebholo is prepared and destined for the position. I repeated in a channel TV interview that not having Monday Okpebholo as governor in 2024 is paradise lost.
QUES: How prepared is he to address the critical problem of Edo people?
Senator Monday Okpebholo has done a lot and that is why I call him ‘alternate government’ for things he has been doing for the people of Edo central senatorial district, he wants to expand that at the state level. The senate as it is today, he is just like a big man dress in small garment the way history described 18th century King Leopord of Belgium as a great King in an insignificant Kingdom, he wants the mantle to control the three senatorial districts, he has been involved in providing for the people even as a non- state actor. He has provided security even without security votes given to him , even in the area of health sector, road constructions, go to Emado, Ile community, Irrua, Uzea, Ekpoma, Uromi, he has given vehicles to Esan security network and many others.
Ques: Don’t you think some of these donations and philanthropic works are politically motivated?
Like it is often said, politics is the arena in which the fate of our planet will be decided so everybody is a political animal, there are people who may want to go into politics that are wealthier than him but he is a man of means, with means to livelihood. Others will not provide but they just want power for the sake of aggrandizement and primitive accumulation, pathological fixation on use of raw power. But Akpakomiza is humble and can be trusted with power. He is very unskilled to the tendency of evil; he is not someone who cannot be trusted, what he says is what he does and loves by his people. His social intervention cut across and not only Esan people so we must place credit where it belongs. He is not a moral midget, neither a social liability nor intellectual degenerate and has all the qualities to be governor of Edo State and will rule well because he is saddened with the social dislocation in the land and institutional collapse.
Ques: Is he riding on the wings of the clamour for power shift to Edo central because some people have said he should focus on his senatorial assignment?
First of all, I want to say Sen Monday Okpebholo is a competent, fit and proper person for the governor. Somebody that will go there and be singing of what Aristotle and Plato contrive to be beautiful goodness. When he gets there you will see development, power will not be at the corridor power but it will demystify governance.
Ques: Don’t you think when he gets to Osadebey avenue, he won’t get power drunk as often seen with others?
You need to know that Akpakomiza is a God fearing person. If you are close to him you will know that between the hours of 6am and 9am, he communes with God and is not pretentious. We know power changes even the best of men but with Okpebholo it will be different. He has not changed before now.
Ques: What are his chances especially when it comes to the power of incumbency?
We just finished a general election and APC is far ahead. Edo State has nine house of representatives seats and APC won six, Labour Party 2, out of the three senatorial seats APC, has 2 and LP 1 , PDP has nothing. Don’t forget the election was conducted by INEC. In Ovia South west, the court has given it to APC, by the time we are done with PDP and Labour Party, history will not be sure they existed. For the local government election, the party in the state must write it, Obaseki has not offended the reputation, whether it is Benue , Edo or Rivers, there is no angel in that aspect.
Ques: If given the opportunity, which aspects will Okpebholo Address?
He has started training people by setting them up as entrepreneurs. In the areas of food security he will empower farmers, encourage them. Today’s youths have been driven to desperate solutions, employment will be taken seriously, and he will replace rot with good infrastructure and replace all the collapsed public facilities in the state.