By RAPHAEL OKHIRIA, Benin City
Being one of the major financiers of the Edo State branch of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Joe Ikpea, a frontline governorship aspirant in the 2024, gubernatorial election in the state, believes he stands a chance to pick the party’s ticket.
Ikpea, who disclosed this during a visit to the secretariat of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State council on Monday, insisted that being a foundation member and 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 course, and that with God all things are possible
“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 it wishes. But I believe in God, I am going to push my course 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 expect 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 put many wrong things, such as infrastructural decay, unemployment, etc, right, has been the propelling factor to govern the state.
“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, experience in the state,” he added.