(Mrs) Eki Igbinedion, wife of the Edo State Governor
She is Princess (Mrs) Eki Igbinedion, wife of the Edo State Governor, Lucky Nosakhave Igbinedion. Born into the royal family of Prince and Princess Oyemarense in the ancient Benin Kingdom, hardworking and amiable Eki attended several schools home and abroad. She later graduated with a Masters Degree in Economics and Statistics. Her records in pet projects, such as Edo Underprivileged Trust Funds, Idia Renassiance and lots more, speak volumes. This radiant looking woman of substance in this interview with our KOLA EKE, in Benin City, opened up on her husband, saying she's a victim of circumstances, her projects and lot more.
How do you see your husband in the past six years in office?
I'm indeed with pains, my heart bleeds, my husband has come under series of attacks since he was elected the Governor of Edo State. I'm not surprised that he's a victim of circumstances, a man that people believed has done nothing despite all his efforts to transform the state? Certainly, I'm not happy with the way and manner Edo people attack him. Even the press makes things worse for my husband. Does it mean he has done nothing at all? I think this question should be answered by those who will read this interview. To many, he's not hardworking while many outside the state pour in commendations, so where do we go from here? It's clear that Edo State is difficult to govern, the people here if not for God, by now my husband would have been forgotten. People till date are out there to derail his government. I do fast and pray, at all times to ensure that all is well.
It's only in Edo people are still fetish, we see all sorts of fetish materials all most every day around us. With this, I ensured a church is being built in Government House. This is why I said it was God that has been helping my husband.
What specific things would you attribute to your husband non-performance?
I dare say here that my husband has thousands of hangers-on including the so called leaders he respects often times. It's so unfortunate, he's my husband and we discuss in the house and I know all the things going on. The people here are not ready to listen to both sides when making condemnations. Lucky, my husband has the ability to transform the state into tourist centre, but his hands are filled. We have not failed as the indications are clear. We're still on course.
Do you regret your husband as a politician?
Certainly not, like I was trying to explain, Edo politics is different from others. You need to develop a thick skin to be able to rule the state, like I know this right from the outset. As a matter of fact, politics runs through my husband's family vein. So, we are not moved by the words from the people. Also, I have found the press not helpful in this regard, rather what even relates to the Igbinedions they have vested interest, why? There should be fair play in their reports, the man can be reached or I can be reached to balance the reports. Nigerian press, I must say have been unfair to our administration considering their negative reports on Igbinedions.
What would you say is responsible for the blackmails around your husband?
Well, I want to attribute them to insatiable acts, our people are extremely myopic with a view to destroying the work of any of their 'rulers.' It's a long time disease and it takes times to be removed. Many people have governed the state before my husband, they were condemned like my husbands. You will agree with me, it is a traditional and perennial problem. They sing different songs when they see my husband one on one, but while behind they blackmail. In 2007 after the tenure of my husband somebody will come in, it's going to be the same song for my husband. My prayer is that people should change to God to enrich themselves with good talks and not blackmails.
What would be the function of Government House church if you are out of office?
Certainly, it's a church not for the Igbinedions, but for everybody and it will remain there in the interest of all. The building is costing us so much and we are not bothered, what we want is the house of God to be in Government House. This I think will bring people closer to God. People can worship in the place and sing different songs.
Has your pet projects really achieved their aims?
All the projects are doing well with international recognition across the world. I'm so happy that the projects are much talked about though there were some talks to bring me down. The projects have succeeded with credit pass. I have affected the lives of very many people through these projects, and I want to say that it's the greatest achievement in my life. People within and outside the state are supporting us. Initially it was a war with series of petitions, thank God today that people have seen what I was doing to help our children. We have blocked their illicit ways in the trafficking business, though many are happy while those evil minded persons saw us as saboteurs. These pet projects brought me into fame proper, my husband has been very supportive of the projects.
What attracted Lucky (now your husband) to you while you were a girl?
I have answered this question times without number, I saw the good visions in him as a man who will be a leader and I went for him when he came up with the idea to marry me. Today, God has blessed us with good children.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for my pet projects. As the saying goes, good name is better than riches.