A one-on-one interview with Eghosa Asemota Agbonifo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Edo State House of Assembly, Oredo West constituency.

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Press: Good day sir, can we meet you?

EAA: I am Eghosa Asemota Agbonifo, a businessman cum politician. A father, with three lovely kids and an adorable wife.

Press: Businessman cum politician. Why politics? Are you delving into it to extend your business empire?

EAA: You see, that is where our society is getting it wrong. To be ruthlessly sincere with you, politics slows the pace of one’s private business. Ask anyone that is doing his business and politics. Aside from the time-consuming nature of politics, people tend to take advantage of you as a politician when dealing with you from the business angle. Let me give you a practical example. I run a fashion business (clothing line) in several locations in the state, with my business name (Etek notions). One day, sitting at the Akenzua junction branch, along Airport Road, a customer came in, and my sales representative was attending to him. As he was haggling price with the lady, he saw me and walked towards me. The price he was bargaining for was far below the cost price, that was why the sales rep had refused to seal the deal with him. With me in the picture, he started talking about how he has been buying drinks for people on my behalf to promote my political interest. He kept on talking about politics, and my chances of winning, trying to use that means to cajole or coerce me to sell the commodity he was bargaining for, at such a giveaway price. I thanked him for the political update and told him if I am giving him the commodity for free is better than selling it at such a price. To cut the long story short, he got upset. But before I got involved in active politics, such things do not occur. So is it right to say I want to use politics to promote the business? I leave that for your conscience to answer.

Press: Sir, this is not me attacking you, but as a journalist, you know we hear rumours from the streets, and it is our duty to find the truth. There is this news that you’re a ‘yahoo boy’, is there an element of truth in it?

EAA: Please don’t kill me with laughs. It seems you did not get to read an article I personally wrote to address this notion. See, my ability to wrestle the party ticket with the men that once run things in the council made people start saying all that. My little political progress and the goodwill I enjoy from people is what is giving my distractors sleepless nights, so they had to cook up stories to tarnish my growing sterling personality. I have never defrauded anyone locally or internationally. If they want to learn my line of business, they should simply ask me, how? I started trading as a very young boy. So many people don’t even know that I lost my father at a very tender age. And as the only son, I had to grow up real fast to be a man! In my youthful days, I had the reputation of being able to sell anything, that earned me the name Mr Property. Business is my only source of livelihood. Clothing line, Real estate, Cars, etc.

Press: Some believe you don’t have a manifesto, and that you’re just floating with the “I am a youth, vote for me. And then together we can” narratives. What will you say to that?

EAA: I have a people-centred manifesto. Let me tell you something, I am a new breed politician, and cannot be cajoled into doing things as it has always been done. My manifesto is not mere political rhetoric as many of them practise out there. In the course of this interview, I will give you snippets of my manifesto which I tag, “for the Majority in Obscurity”.

Press: For the Majority in Obscurity. That sound interesting. Can you throw more light, please?

…to be continued.

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