Edo State governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon Joe Ikpea, has expressed optimism that he would clinch the party’s ticket in the primaries slated for February 2024.
He said as a loyal party member, he would abide by the decision of APC leaders who have embarked on screening to prune down the number of aspirants in Edo Central Senatorial District.
Ikpea, spoke during a visit to the secretariat of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council on Monday.
He said being a foundation member and a major financer of the party in the state, he should be compensated with the party’s governorship ticket.
Asked if he was aware his party, the APC, has streamlined aspirants from his zone (Edo Central) to three, of which his name is copiously missing, Ikpea said he was aware, but insisted that he would continue with his cause, and that with God all things are possible.
He said, “We were invited for a meeting in Abuja where we were asked to provide our membership card, voter card, and proof of support for the party over the years. And if we go by that, I think, I should be the person to be considered. If you look at the history of the party, I am one of the founding members, and not just founding member, but one of the financers of the party.
“But like I said earlier, the party can do whatsoever they wish. But I believe in God, I am going to push my cause and leave the rest for God.”
While noting that the party has the final decision on who to fly the governorship flag, he said he expects that his labour for the party, over the years, is recognised by giving him the ticket.
The aspirant, who promised to support anyone the party gives the governorship ticket, should he not get it, said his interest to fix many wrong things, such as infrastructural decay, unemployment, had been the propelling factor to govern the state.
He added: “So, if given the opportunity to govern the state, having known the history, having known the problems of the state, having worked with different administrations in the state, I am in the best position to right many wrongs. I know our challenges. One of our major problems in the state is unemployment.
“Edo is more into agriculture. We have to use the vast land provided by God for us. In Edo South, we have oil, in Edo North, we have solid minerals, these are ways we can create job for the people if we utilise them. If we go into agric, our youths will get jobs. This will reduce several crimes such as kidnapping experienced in the state.”
He promised to use the oil and gas in Edo South to set up a modular refinery to create jobs for the teeming youths in the state and also invest in mental healthcare.