28th November, 2023
By Jethro Ibileke
An aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2024 governorship election in Edo State, Mr. Joe Ikpea, has insisted that he is most qualified to get the party’s ticket for the election.
Ikpea who is from Edo central district of the state, said this during a visit to the secretariat of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council on Monday.
He insisted that being a foundation member and major financier of the party in the state, he should be compensated with the party governorship ticket.
It would be recalled that his party, the APC, has streamlined aspirants from his zone to three, with his name copiously missing.
The three shortlisted Aspirants include the party’s state chairman, David Imuse, the incumbent senator representing Edo Central, Monday Okpebholo and Festue Ebea.
Joe Ikpea who said he was aware, however, insisted that he would continue with his course, noting that there is nothing God cannot do, adding that his labour for the party over the years should be rewarded by giving him the ticket.
According to him, “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. 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 a founding member, but one of the financiers of the party.
“But like I said earlier, the party can do whatever they wish. But I believe in God, I am going to push my course and leave the rest for God.”
The aspirant promised to support whoever gets the party’s governorship ticket because the party has the final decision.
Commenting on why he wishes to govern the state, Ikpea said his interest in putting many wrong things, such as infrastructural decay, unemployment, etc, right, has 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 jobs for the people if we utilise them. If we go into agriculture, our youths will get jobs. This will reduce several crimes such as kidnapping, experience in the state.
Commenting on his plan to use agriculture to tackle unemployment in the state, the Joe Ikpea said: “If you look at the banks, they declare a lot of profits each year.
“If I have the opportunity to be governor of the state, I will have discussions with the banks to invest their profit in agric in our state. I will discuss with them on the areas they have interests in the agricultural sector and ask them to invest in such areas. I will also discuss how the profit will be shared among us. It will be a kind of partnership.”
He also promised to set up modular refineries in Edo south to create jobs for the teaming youths in the state, and also invest in mental healthcare in the state, because, according to him, many of the youths have now gone into drugs, and their future is being threatened.
“The future of our youths is in doubt. The reason why it is in doubt is that most of them have gone into alcoholism. The reason why many of them have gone into alcoholism is because they are idle.
“Under healthcare, if given the opportunity, I will look at mental healthcare. I will give the youths to play a major role in our government,” Ikpea said.