Nseobong Okon-Ekong writes that the Social Democratic Party, Edo Central Senatorial nominee, Mr. Idumonza Isidahomhen, a businessman and publisher, OpenLife, a pan-African business and political news magazine may be one of the candidates geared up for an upset in the 2019 National Assembly elections
You have been consistent with your membership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and for the second time you have the party’s senatorial ticket for Edo Central. What are your chances and that of the party in the 2019 elections in the state and the nation, as a whole?
It’s imperative to understand that I believe so much in SDP, the party with the intelligence and agility of a horse to transform Nigeria into global best. My consistent resolve to present myself for service at the upper legislative chamber is borne out of an innate desire to enable a more efficient representation to uplift Esan peoples’ socio-economic and cultural interests.
By extension however, the focus is geared towards utilising legislative apparatus to channel evidential developments in health, agriculture, education, tourism and infrastructural renewal to Edo Central.
The God-given opportunity, through the instrumentality of party leaders and members, to bear the party’s emblem in the 2019 senatorial contest, is not one of those opportunities that will be frittered away on the altar of personal aggrandisement. SDP is prepared to do better than any party that has represented Esan in the Senate.
The vision behind the mission technically defines my bright chances. The mission mirrors the yearnings of the people for a change from the 20 sad years PDP has represented Esanland in the Senate. It’s also in consonance with the demands of modern democracy, using legislative tools to empower diversified growth that reaches the base of the society.
Besides, a combination of PDP’s lack of focus, resulting into inability to attract federal projects to Esan and APC’s abysmal failure to impact people’s life, properly energises the collective resolve of the people to vote SDP in 2019.
At some point when I was editor of a newspaper with concurrent oversight of Edo-Delta states, my analytical commentaries were the reference point for people in government. The records are there. That would reflect in my activities in the Senate in a manner that would catapult Esanland into global embrace as a centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.
By standard evaluation, SDP stands head above other political parties in ideology and roadmap. It couldn’t have been otherwise given that the party nurtured Edo State at infancy when it was created on August 27, 1991 and as such, knows the solutions to all the challenges.
Indeed, the error to have allowed other political parties to mismanage Edo affairs and upturn the excellent foundation laid by SDP will be corrected in 2019. To the people who are in desperate need of fresh innovative thoughts and leadership patterns, SDP is just the answer.
You are one of those who think that since the assumed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola has been honoured by the federal government, SDP ought to have been invited to form the next government in order to bring a final foreclosure to the injustice on the Abiola mandate, how can this be achieved?
That is correct. What is however worrisome is that presidential candidates of other political parties have not clearly read the body language of President Buhari who, by his recognition, has sent out a strong signal of his preparedness to handover to SDP in 2019.
While Buhari’s recognition of Chief MKO Abiola’s stolen presidential mandate is quite commendable, what is expected is to cede power to SDP to fulfill the mandate. That’s evidently doing adequate justice to the issue of June 12, 1993 by actively supporting Donald Duke to win in 2019.
Your party is embroiled in a crisis following the presidential primary which produced Mr. Donald Duke as the flag bearer of the party, certain people are saying that Duke should not have contested the primary since the constitution of the party forbids the National Chairman and the party’s presidential candidate from coming from the same part of the country, how does the SDP hope to manage this challenge?
It’s essential, I think, to realise that firstly, the Nigerian constitution which has no geopolitical patterning on presidential aspirants supersedes that of the party.
If Donald Duke has fulfilled all relevant requirements as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution to run for president, then I guess the focus should rather be on the evaluations and practicability of his campaign promises.
There is a generation of Nigerians who do not know the influence and power that the SDP used to wield in Nigeria, can the party regain its lost glory?
First, no glory was lost let alone regaining it. SDP martyred for Nigerian democracy to stabilise. SDP has always been the issue in Nigerian politics. Anybody who is somebody in the political system today is a product of SDP directly or indirectly. The focus at the moment is to take over presidency and win majority in the Senate and other positions for a cohesive administration that will put Nigeria on the path of growth.
SDP candidates have a uniform ideology that motivates and attracts people’s support.
We’ll double down on our successes and continue to build directly from the base and ensure the story of our antecedence and the promises of the future are distributed across the berth.
Many pundits think the 2019 general elections will be a two-horse race between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is it possible for a party like the SDP to cause an upset in Edo?
We’ve never been more prepared than we are now. The APC and PDP know this. Aside other exco positions, SDP has a 30-man ward executives in the 51 wards in Esan. That explains our grassroots strength. We’ve a longstanding devotion towards idea-driven campaign that spells out solutions to problems of the people. I am enthusiastically at home in all the five council areas of Edo Central.
We speak to the needs of the people. I’ve the personal attributes to give the Esan people an optimised representation in the Senate.
Going forward, how do you plan to engage yourself in the Edo project?
Good enough, I am not new to the politics of Edo and Esan. I am not new to my people of Esanland. I am not a stranger to the organic make up and sectorial bearings of Esanland. I am not new to the issues and prospects of Esanland and of course I am at the centre of the actualization of the Esan of our dream.