Aspirants explain why they withdrew for Obaseki As counting of votes is ongoing at the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship primary election in Benin, leaders and members of the party are full of expectation that it would retain the state come the September 19, 2020 poll. At the opening activities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, venue of the exercise which saw the formal withdrawal of three aspirants for the new entrant, Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, the common refrain by speaker after speaker was that Edo State would be for keeps following the defection of Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress, APC to the opposition party which had been out of power since 2008.
Chairman, Board of Trustee, BoT, of the PDP, Senator Walid Jubril, who was represented by Esther Uduehi, a member of the board on congratulates all Edo people and the PDP family “for this feat that you have pulled”. Delivering a goodwill message from the chairman, Uduehi said “He is happy that as of today, you have made it possible for all the states in the South-south to be PDP. He congratulates you; he is appreciative of all the aspirants and he thanks all the aspirants for their commitment to the good of PDP and the good of the family for making it possible for us as we are going to have very peaceful primaries”.
Jubril promised that “As the Board of Trustees, the conscience of the party, we will continue to promote and encourage justice and fair play in all the activities of PDP”.
Bala Mohammed, the chairman of the Edo PDP Governorship Primary Election Committee, and governor of Bauchi State, said the party had learnt in a hard way from their past mistakes and would not allow a repeat of history. Mohammed said the party would prove to the world that the PDP was the only party they could trust.
According to him, the primary would be conducted in a free, fair, credible and transparent way to prove a point that the party was the only one that can do trust. Describing Obaseki as “God sent”, and a resourceful person, Mohammed noted that what he had seen at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium was a clear attestation to that.
A visibly upbeat Dan Osi Orbih, the newly appointed care-taker committee National vice-chairman, South-south zone of the party, who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of the leaders, governors and members of PDP in the South-south, believed Obaseki’s re-election was a fait accompli. According to him said “I’ve been asked to extend this goodwill message to all our delegates that our dream of having the only state that was outside the control of PDP in the South-south has been realized. But this said, all we’ve come here to do is to celebrate the second coming of Governor Godwin Obaseki”.
In a veiled reference to the dissolution of the National Working Committee of the APC headed by Adams Oshiomhole who had been at logger heads with the governor, Orbih said “Today’s event has multiple dimensions. Today, we are hearing news from Abuja; today, I can say that the governor has already shown that victory will be ours. So, on behalf of our leaders of the South-south, I greet the delegates. I urge you to go and do the needful so that at the end of today’s event, it will be clear that we are speaking with one voice that Godwin Obaseki will be our candidate and he will ensure victory for the party in the coming election”.
Formally announcing their withdrawal from the race in support of Obaseki, Kenneth Imasuangbon, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, and Gideon Ikhine, said they did so in the interest of the party and because the governor was doing a good job. The trio therefore canvassed support for Obaseki to consolidate on the good work he had started.
Enumerating his reasons for pulling out, Imasuangbon said “I have decided to step down for the governor because of the following reasons. Reason number one; he is a performing governor. Reason number two why I have decided to step down is because of the unity of our great party. Our party is stronger than my selfish or my personal goal. The umbrella is big enough to accommodate every Edolite and every Nigerian. Thirdly, because we want to entrench democracy in Nigeria; Nigeria is bigger, stronger than any person. To make our party better, stronger, I have decided I have found a person in our governor who is ready to do what my vision and aspiration is. Lastly, I stepped down because our governor stood up against godfatherism. We hereby proclaim today Let’s write an article of faith against the godfather, today being the 25th day of June 2020, we hereby declare and we so declare that never again will there be godfathers in Nigeria. Godwin Obaseki, carry go”.
Ogbeide-Ihama congratulated the party and appreciated Obaseki for coming to the PDP fold. He stated that “I want to let you know I completely understand the dynamics of politics and the essence of mergers. Having Governor Obaseki in our party today is a big catch. We are happy to have you in our midst; we are happy that PDP is now in government”. He canvassed support for the governor by all members of the party.
“I feel your happiness; I feel your joy; sacrifices must be made when necessary. History has been made in our party and like the chairman, His Excellency, Governor Bala Mohammed, of Bauchi said, we have made our mistakes in the past and it was imperative that some of us needed to take a stand to stop further mistakes. All of that has been resolved and together we’ll work together to retain PDP in the government house,” Ogbeide-Ihama stated.
Gideon Ikhine on his part said “God has used Governor Obaseki to open the door to the PDP to take over Edo State Government House. According to him, Osadebe Avenue, seat of Government, had been given to the PDP without a single ballot paper cast. “Obaseki became God’s grace to our prayer and he has used him to bring PDP back to government house. On that note, I decided to step down and allow him to drive and make Edo great”.Follow Us on Social Media
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