I’ve Achieved More Than The PDP Gov’ship Candidate – Wuhe

I’ve Achieved More Than The PDP Gov’ship Candidate – Wuhe

Ambassador Philip Wuhe is the candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) for Tiev state constituency in Benue state. In this interview with JOHN SHIAONDO in Makurdi, he speaks about his chances and why he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

You were a member of the PDP; why did you abandon the party for PRP?…Continue Reading

Yeah, I was in the PDP and thought the party was straight forward in their kind of zoning. In Benue state, we believe in zoning and when we started these consultations to the Tiev House of Assembly Constituency where I belong, I thought things would be done the right way. But unfortunately, they didn’t give the zoning there as the person that emerged came from Mbakaange council ward.

He has never been a voter in township ward and not a card-carrying member of township ward. The consensus brought a lot of problems in the party. There were guidelines that in deciding for consensus, it must follow. The guidelines were that it must be someone who has been in the party for long, someone who is a party man and has contributed to the party, and is well known at the grassroots. Unfortunately, the reverse was the case; the people they brought on board were people who have not done politics before who have never been members of the PDP. They just brought them and decided to impose them on us.

Those who objected were threatened by thugs and in my own case, they brought in thugs and tortured one of my strong supporters and compelled him not to work for me. Looking at the whole situation, there was nothing that would again convince me to remain in the party because I saw that there was clearly a lack of internal democracy in the party. I didn’t know how I would work for such a political party and convince people at the general elections. I don’t know the person that emerged and didn’t know how I would convince the people to vote for him. This is someone that could not even mention names of party officials in Vandeikya local government.

I have laboured for the party for so long and have done things on ground that you can feel and touch; things that are impacting positively on the lives of my people. We had to leave the party since they wanted people they could use to continue misleading members of the public.

You have pitched a tent with the PRP which is not well known in the state; are you confident that you or your party would win the election?

Yes, I am very confident to win in the PRP, because this is a party that came third in the 2019 governorship at the general elections in Benue state. This was under Rev. Frederick Ikyaan as the governorship candidate. The man made a whole lot of waves, but because he was contesting against the government in power, he could not win. But thank God now that people are beginning to realise that they don’t have to vote for parties anymore, it has to be the candidate. You cannot continue to bring new wine in old bottles and you think you are doing yourself any good. Ikyaan was someone who was coming from a different background completely.

So, if Benue had given Ikyaan governor at that time, they would have seen tremendous changes in the areas of security, economy, health, education and general development of the state. He would have broken even in the area of development. I want to, therefore, tell you that coming third at the election where you had ADC that had a member at the House of assembly, where you have LP and APGA that had members at the House of Representatives was a great achievement. So, the party is well known, it has structures and coupled with the structures that I have already in the state, and in the six council wards of my constituency, and with my popularity, I am very sure to win the election.

What have you done previously that made you think that the people should consider you for that position?

Yes, I have done relatively well in my constituency. When I started in 2009, I saw the system of the party they operated there and I felt that we must do something to develop my people. Something the people will feel and touch; something that can impact positively on my people. So, we started by identifying little, little projects in my area, some of which are supposed to be carried out by the government which they failed to do. I started by grading roads in Vandeikya local government; roads that were like death traps to the people. We did a whole lot of things like rehabilitation of boreholes mostly in Iningev council ward, to be precise.

I have graded roads in Vandeikya, rehabilitated boreholes in Iningev council ward. I went ahead in the education sector to rehabilitate schools because pupils were learning under trees and we saw that it was a very bad learning situation. I built and donated classroom blocks to LGA Primary School Lar, Iningev council ward, LGA Primary School Audu, and constructed three classrooms for Achaku Community Secondary School in Mbakyaha council ward. We went round and I felt Agbo which is the central market in Vandeikya had no good abattoir where they slaughter cattle and goats for consumption and we had to demolish it and build a new one.

Today, the Vandeikya market has a befitting abattoir that the people use. This was supposed to be a state project. In Mbayongo council ward, I assisted in the construction of an NKST Church Kaai, near Adamgbe where the church had fallen and killed people. The church was so dilapidated that people worshiping there were afraid and I told them that it was high time we changed the church. However, since we can’t build churches alone the little that I will do, the church will now continue from there. We succeeded in building the church to completion; it now remains to be roofed.

These are some fundamental development projects I have been doing in Vandeikya local government even though I have not been voted into any political office.

I have also provided job opportunities to 15 young men in the Nigerian Police Force at the federal government level. Today, they are still in service. In the SURE-P, we brought so many into the programme and they were taking stipends at that time. These are the things that I have done and I want people to vote for me so that I can bring more development. You see, there are lots of graduates, some of whom are wasting in the village. Most of them have brilliant results, but there are no jobs for them and they have consequently resorted to farming at a very local level without hope and assistance. I want to change their lives if voted into office in 2023.

Are you threatened by the incumbency of the PDP?

I am not.

Do you think PRP will win the governorship? What will you do differently if elected?

I may not tell you that we are going to win. We need to start from somewhere to make us come to the centre in the future elections. So, right now, I may not be correct if I tell you that we will take the state. This is because I am not a governorship candidate, but a state assembly candidate. I will not speak for the governorship candidate for now. But the PRP slogan is victory and if you look at the symbol or logo it’s a key, and that key means redemption to open up developments, open up all avenues for people to come in and feel the impact of democracy. This is not about you being voted in so that you go there and shut your doors. PRP has a very good constitution and manifesto on how to make the people happy in the various constituencies, LGAs, state and the federal. It’s just that they have not been opportune to rule or lead. So, going by the manifesto of PRP, they carry people along, especially at the grassroots, for the people to enjoy equal rights and get what they yearn for, which is the development of both human and economic aspects of their lives.

But people are of the view that you are not popular in your constituency and so cannot win an election. What’s your reaction to that?

Even in the PDP, that wasn’t their main problem. Their main problem was that I was too expensive for them because they are not used to development. If you look at the PDP today in the state, I want you to quote me, name them from the speaker to all members of the House of Assembly, put the governor together; let them give their achievements here in Benue state. They are not as popular as I am. I will tell you and stand my feet firmly on the ground because they have nothing to show that this is what they have done. The fundamental thing they are supposed to do which is payment of salaries and construction of roads which is a mandatory thing that you must do as a government, they have not done it anywhere.

Talk about the so-called glorified cargo airport, we have seen it in Nasarawa state, people who did not even do any flamboyant advertisement, they have already commissioned it and they are using it. Saying that I am not popular and on ground is not true because I am very popular and very much on ground. That the PDP is scared of giving me that ticket because by the time I get to the House, I will object and expose all their evil plans. This is because they are all yes-people and I won’t be a yes-person.

I want to give you a message that specifically; Titus Uba said they cannot bend me, so the ticket should not be given to me; that it should be given to someone they can bend. That was how I lost that ticket and not for not being popular. If it is for popularity, I am very popular. I am more popular in my place than the speaker who has been made the governorship candidate against the wishes of many people. He is a misfit to rule Benue. What I have done in that clan even as a speaker he has not done it, quote me anywhere. Uba is my brother and we are from the same place. He knows what I have done in that clan; he has not done it.

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