Asue Ighodalo, a gubernatorial aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has proclaimed his allegiance to his Esan heritage, emphasizing his identity as a true Esan boy despite facing challenges in speaking the local language. Ighodalo, believed to be the favored successor of Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, made this declaration during an address to his kinsmen in Ewohimi, Esan South East Local Government of the state.
Acknowledging the need for an interpreter to communicate effectively with his kinsmen, Ighodalo stressed his connection to Esanland and his commitment to its development. “I am a true Esan boy; I am not going to use ‘homeboy’ because they have used it badly. I am an Esan boy,” he asserted through an interpreter.
Ighodalo, who has been part of the state’s economic team since 2008, defended his Esan heritage, pointing to his long-standing contributions to the state’s economic development. “I have been on the state economic team since 2008, starting from the administration of Comrade Oshiomhole,” he explained. “Since Godwin Obaseki came in as Chairman of the Economic Team, I have been coming to Edo state to support and advise the government.”
Dismissing the notion that residing in the diaspora should disqualify one from being a true Edo boy, Ighodalo argued that the essence of being a true son of the soil lies in one’s heart. “There are many of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora who are more Edo than many of them who live here,” he emphasized.
Calling for unity among Edo people, both within the state and abroad, Ighodalo emphasized the importance of collaboration for the development of Edo State. He urged people to put aside divisive sentiments and work collectively to advance the interests of the state.
“So all those of us in the diaspora, those of us in the diaspora in Nigeria, diaspora abroad, all the best hands must come to develop Edo State,” he stated. “Someone can’t sit in the village or in ‘mama put’ and say the rest of us cannot come and develop our state; it is not done. We must all come together to come and develop Edo State, plus the people in ‘mama put,’ plus the people in Canada, we come together and develop Edo State.”