A former commissioner for information in Edo state, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has expressed his confidence in securing the All Progressives Congress ticket for the 2024 governorship election in the state.
He made this known in an interview with Arise News on Sunday, where he said he was not bothered by the activities of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party, which have more than 20 aspirants jostling for their respective tickets.
Afegbua, who recently joined the APC from the PDP, said he had told the party leaders to give him the ticket and let him go and bring home the trophy. He boasted that he would trounce any of the candidates of the PDP and LP, if APC could give him the ticket for the party. He cited his rich understanding of the state, his name recognition, and his ability to speak to the issues as some of his advantages over his rivals.
“I’m not going to bother myself with what happens in PDP for now, when they give me the ticket. I’ve told them ‘Emi lo kan’. They should give me this ticket and let me go and bring home the trophy. I will trounce any of the candidates of PDP and Labour Party, if APC can give me the ticket for that party. One, I have a rich understanding of what obtains in the state, I can speak to the issues, people know me, I have a name recognition, they know that I am like this, I’m not like this (waving his hands, turning it from side to side), I will tell you what I believe in at every point without minding,” he said.
Afegbua also said he was looking for a political ideal, a platform that could give him the opportunity to contest the election, so that he could translate his ideas into practice for the good of Edo people. He said he was ready to be criticized, instead of criticizing all the time.
“I’m looking for political ideal, a platform that can give me that opportunity to contest election, so that whatever I have, instead of criticizing all the time, let me also be criticized this time around. Give me an executive position where I can translate my ideas into practice for the good of Edo people,” he said.
Afegbua, who hails from Edo Central Senatorial District, is among the nine aspirants seeking the APC ticket for the governorship election scheduled for September 21, 2024.
The incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, who defected from the APC to the PDP in 2020, is expected to complete his second term on November 12, 2024.
Some stakeholders have called for the zoning of the governorship seat to Edo Central, which has not produced a governor since the return of democracy in 1999.
Afegbua said he was confident that the APC would respect the zoning arrangement and give him the ticket. He also said he had the support of the former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, who is also from Edo North like him.
“I have the support of Oshiomhole. He is my leader and mentor. He knows that I am the best man for the job. He knows that I have the experience, the vision, and the passion to take Edo to the next level. He knows that I am loyal to the party and to the people. He knows that I am not like Obaseki, who betrayed him and the APC. He knows that I will work with him and the APC to deliver good governance to Edo people,” he said.
Afegbua, who is also a former spokesman to the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, said he had a manifesto that would address the infrastructural decay and leadership deficiency in the state. He said he would focus on education, health, agriculture, security, and youth empowerment, among other sectors. He said he would also ensure that Edo state aligns with the federal government and benefits from the policies and programmes of the APC-led administration.
“I have a manifesto that will transform Edo state. I will revive the education sector and make it accessible and affordable to all. I will improve the health sector and provide quality and affordable health care to all. I will boost the agricultural sector and create jobs and wealth for our farmers. I will enhance the security sector and ensure peace and order in the state. I will empower the youth and women and give them opportunities to contribute to the development of the state. I will also ensure that Edo state is in sync with the federal government and enjoys the dividends of democracy from the APC-led administration,” he said.
Afegbua urged the people of Edo state to support his aspiration and vote for him in the APC primary and the general election. He said he was the best candidate to succeed Obaseki and take Edo state to greater heights.
“I appeal to the good people of Edo state to support me and vote for me. I am the best candidate to succeed Obaseki and take Edo state to greater heights. I have the track record, the competence, and the integrity to lead Edo state. I have the vision, the passion, and the courage to make Edo state the envy of other states. I have the APC, the party of progress and change, behind me. I have Oshiomhole, the leader of leaders, beside me. I have God, the giver of power, above me. With your support and vote, we will make Edo state great again,” he said.