A former minister of works under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Mike Onolememen and a former governorship aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who voluntarily stepped down for Governor Godwin Obaseki in 2020 when he defected from the APC, Gideon Ikhine, have formally joined the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Receiving the two politicians and their supporters in Uromi, headquarters of Esan North East local government area, leader of APC in the Edo Central Senatorial District, General Cecil Esekhaigbe (rtd) said their presence in the party was a precursor to victory for the APC in the 2024 governorship election adding that the senatorial district would produce the next governor.
He said, “These are great personalities, they are well known in Nigeria and in political circles so what this has shown today is that the APC is the party to join and it is very significant because as we prepare for 2024, it is crystal clear that Esan will produce the next governor so for these calibre of people that have joined us, you can see that with them the push is on and we will get their by the grace of God.”
On his part, Ikhine said he joined the party to ensure “that we take over the government. This is to let the people understand that come 2024, we APC will occupy Osadebey House. There is peace in APC, there is no wrangling. I had been in the PDP, it was a wonderful party but today it is not what it was anymore.”
Onolememen said they must move with the current political realities in the country that APC is now the ruling party and that there was need to support the Senate president who is from the South-South and the leader of the party in the state Senator Adams Oshiomhole who he said was coordinating the lawmakers from Edo State in the National Assembly to bring development to Edo State.
He said, “We have come into an unusual time and that was why we started talking to each other that things are no longer the way they used to be. What that meant was that it was about time for us to move out and look for a better place for our people.
“Whether you like it or not the national politics has changed, there is no point deceiving oneself, we know there is a new era and we need to align with the reigning party the APC. If we want progress in this senatorial district, we need to re-order our steps. That is why I have met with my people several times and told them to get ready, it is time we move en masse to the APC.”