Tonto Dikeh, the actress-turned politician, says she is willing to be the best deputy any governor will have.
The movie star was last week unveiled as the running mate to Tonte Ibraye, a governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Rivers state, ahead of the state election to hold in March 2023.
In an interview with Seun Okinbaloye, the broadcast journalist, Dikeh talked about her running partner’s plans for Rivers state.
The actress, while speaking of their plans to boost agriculture and local production beyond oil in the state, revealed that she currently runs thriving snail and cassava businesses across Rivers and Abuja.
“There are lots of agendas we look to push. We look to invest massively in social security. Foremost in my heart is the inclusion of women and youths in politics and decision-making in the country,” the actress said.
“We will encourage local production to increase export and support the growth of small businesses. I’m a massive farmer of cassava, snail, and a lot of things. I have a farm in Rivers state and in Abuja.
“I export real good. This will include different products, We’re strong in other things apart from oil.”
Asked about her leadership experience, Dikeh cited the philanthropy and social work she did in two organisations.
“I’ve always wanted to be in politics ever since I became a personality in the country. I’ve always given back to the community that made me who I am through my foundation. It’s politics. I’ve always been in politics,” she said.
“Not many people know that I’ve been in politics, Nigeria’s politics, for the last two to three years now through CYMS, that’s the committee for Youth, Mobilisation, and Sensitisation of this, administration.
“We weren’t a member of any party. We were just in for the government’s good, mediating between the government and the youth. The candidate approached me to be his running mate and I think it’s something I am able to do.
“I have been tested critically in leadership through my foundation and an existing organisation which is the CYMS. I’ve paid my dues when it comes to social work.”
On how she plans to handle criticism following her controversial past, Dikeh said she is prepared for anything.
The film star also said she is capable of succeeding as a deputy governor of Rivers while claiming she has never failed in leadership and motherhood.
“I’m a woman of controversy, yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m not loyal to the things I believe in. I believe in good governance and opportunities for the youth women, including them in government decision-making,” she added.
“I won’t change that but I can change in things that don’t make sense. A deputy is a spare tyre and I’m willing to be the best every governor has ever had. I’m prepared for anything. I’ve had three years to work on this.
“I’m ready for criticism. I’ve failed in my I won’. deny that. But have I ever failed in leadership or motherhood? No.”
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Ibraye and Dikeh were given their certificates of return on Friday in Abuja.
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