Nollywood actress, filmmaker, broadcaster, business magnate and philanthropist, Princess Mabel Oboh’s penultimate week emerged as a candidate for Governor of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the upcoming Edo 2020 Governance elections to be held on September 18 with his running mate, Reuben Edokpayi, after displacing Benjamin Akhigbe as the party’s standard-bearer. In this conversation, the producer of the popular NTA television series, Victims opens up about her vision and plans for Edo State.
How does the emerging ADC gubernatorial candidate feel in Edo state for the 2020 election?
I’m excited. Now I am sure that the ADC Manifesto will be implemented in the Edo State. When September 18 arrives, ADC will emerge in the ruling party in Edo State by the grace of God. This is not just about me. My late father, Major Humphrey Etafo Oboh served this nation diligently under the Gowon administration. He also worked with the elderly statesman, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and touched many lives.
Believe it or not, my father and Obaseki’s father were good friends. So speaking of my appearance as a candidate for governor of Edo State on the ADC platform, I never thought of my wildest dreams that I would ever emerge in a political position, let alone as a candidate for governor of Edo State. All I wanted was to have an honest platform to serve people and here I am today.
You have made a name for yourself as an actress, broadcaster and philanthropist, why politics?
I’ve always been passionate about the needy. If we could all reach out to those in need by contributing our own share, then our country will be a better place. Speaking of Ajegunle, I started the day by creating a platform for Ajegunle musicians and that movement gave birth to people like Daddy Showkey, Baba Fryo, and Daddy Fresh among a host of others. I also have Sadiq Dana, my NGO, among many other charities in which I participate, especially since Covid-19 bites more. And when the opportunity to enter politics came, I decided to take it to broaden my reach and help the poor masses of our society.
The PDP is sending Governor Obaseki while APC is sending Ize Iyamu. What is your opinion on this dramatic result and do you think you have a chance as a woman?
I don’t know anything about them. All I know is that they have failed the people of Edo and ADC as part know that their duty as leaders is to serve people and rescue them from ongoing exploitation. I was never interested in politics, but through my party, Edo women and youth approached me to get them out of their suffering. I will do that because I am a mother, sister, aunt and, above all, humanitarian. People should go read my records. I will not fail my people. Edo’s history must change. I promise to do that and it has nothing to do with gender.
Do you think Edo State is ready for a governor?
Edo State is ready for change. They need a person who can give birth and that person turns out to be a woman. A special woman, well exposed and intellectual; That’s what matters. My people are crying and as a mother, I must listen to their cry and meet their needs. It is not about being a woman, but who can free people.
This democratic dispensation began 21 years ago and we have been on a downward spiral and are now known as the world capital of poverty. The ADC manifesto summarizes my political beliefs. For ADC, the mission is more than descending, in 20 years Nigeria should be an economic force and a superpower, standing out among the community of nations along with the United States, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Germany and China.
I have my convictions and ideology and it fits very well with the ADC manifesto. ADC is about integrity. ADC believes in pedigree and honor. Our national president, chief Ralph Nwosu is a pedigree man who wants the best for Nigeria. I really believe that through ADC, Edo State and, by extension, Nigeria will be saved.
What is your agenda for the state of Edo?
We miss the good old days of the old elderly statesman, Anthony Enahoro. Edo State deserves a transformation comparable to the old Enahoro days. It is tragic that as it is today, Edo State is now a shadow of itself. We need to create jobs, build infrastructure and invest massively in agriculture.
Edo State has very strong tourism potential and we need to exploit them. Medical care is another area in which we must invest massively. We need to update our hospitals, introduce subsidized medical care, and introduce health insurance for the underprivileged. Education will be another focal point of my administration.
We need to invest massively in education because children are our future, therefore, the need to train and train teachers cannot be overstated. We also need to improve the minimum wage and restore the self-esteem of the Edo people.
As a woman politician, do you have any particular agenda for women and youth?
Definitely and it is for obvious reasons. We want more women in government. I would like to re-educate women to absorb our children who are the future leaders with moral values. Give them hope and encourage women to work hard. People say it is a man’s world, but I beg you to differ.
I am not a feminist. I believe that God created men and women to complement each other. Women need to be motivated. And that support is paramount on my agenda. Women are the ones who give birth to men in the first place, so if we think they’re not giving us the same opportunities, then let’s change the way we care for them. me
In other words, it is time to work together as women. Hard work is what has brought me to this stage of my life and women should emulate that.
Through his NGO, the Ajegunle music boom in the 1990s impacted and we still feel the echoes of that movement today. What happens to this legacy if you eventually become governor?
Helping the least privileged is my life and my joy. It was an extraordinary moment for me, I must confess to having seen the music of Ajegunle grow and achieve national status even beyond the Nigerian coast. My brother, when I become governor, the sky will be the limit.
Let me clarify something, helping people is not just about giving them alms, but also about creating opportunities for them to feed themselves and others while creating an environment where they can unlock their innate gifts and potentials, and that is why that I will remain committed to the poor masses no matter what happens.