Still basking in the euphoria of his re-election, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki said at an interdenominational thanksgiving service on Sunday that his victory in the recently concluded governorship poll in the state was an affirmation that his government must continue to intensify what it had done in the last four years which he said was about sacrifice and service. Speaking at the thanksgiving service held at the Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, organised by the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Obaseki also described his victory as “divine”.
According to him, “I have had time to sit down and reflect. We came back from Abuja yesterday (Saturday); we met our friends. I had some privilege of getting some background information about some of the things that were going on while the election was going on here and it is only by the grace of God we survived. So, what do we give back for this that He has done for us? It is to continue to serve Him, to continue to praise Him, and to continue to do those things that are pleasing”.
Obaseki said: “God proved in this election that he is God. It just happened that I and my colleagues are the agents, the instrument with which God decided to prove Himself in Edo State; so, we cannot take the glory. We must always give the glory to God Almighty. Vowing that they would continue to give of themselves and serve the people with all that they have, the governor assured Edo people that with “God giving us His grace, giving us His strength, we will do more than we did in the past four years”.
Underscoring the need for peace in the state, Obaseki said “I want to assure everyone here that we are very conscious of the fact that without peace, without harmony, you cannot have growth and progress. Like I said, the war is over. It needn’t be a war, but it was a war; it is over. Our responsibility today is to continue to unite Edo, to unite with our kith and kin in our sub-region so that we can have the peace that is required. We can create the environment that is needed to begin a tedious and enormous task of building or rebuilding our state and our country.
The governor recalled that “About 30 years ago in a rather casual conversation with my mother, she said you, your generation, is the last of the old order and the beginning of the new. And she said if you or your generation do not accept the responsibility of beginning to fix Nigeria, nobody is going to do it for you. And if you do not, this country will be in a tail’s spin for a very, very long time. So when I found myself in politics which I never planned to be, I had no choice but to give my all”.
In his message, the state chairman of CAN, Oyonnude Kure, Bishop of the Evidence of the Gospel Church, described the election as free and fair election “in spite of all the challenges that emanated before the election which created imminent fear of violence and rancour” stressing that “this is the first time we are having this remarkable experience in Nigeria and to God almighty be the glory and thanksgiving”.
He said: “I congratulate the people of Edo state for the just-concluded governorship election which ushers in the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, the God Servant Governor (GSG). We deeply appreciate and thank God for using President Muhammadu Buhari in ensuring that there was unprecedented peace, free, fair, credible; an election that eschewed of violence”.
Kure said “It is gratifying to note that the election has been widely acclaimed by both international and local observers as a remarkably peaceful, free, and credible election. Your victory is divine. It is evidently the will of God and a proof of the confidence that Edo people repose in you as a man of integrity, steadfastness of character, having unfeigned love and passion, uncommon diligence, and commitment to your destiny assignment.
“The developmental strides of your administration have put the state in an enviable height among the comity of states in the Nigeria federation. Your re-election is not just by the acts of men, it is absolutely beyond human. It is an act of divine executive in His mercy. It is of no doubt that you have been divinely chosen by God and the people. “On behalf of CAN, I urge the governor to shun every act of acrimony, set your eyes on the continuous development you have started in the state.”
Present at the thanksgiving service were the governor and his wife, Betsy, top officials of the Edo State government and chieftains of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The dignitaries also included the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu and his wife, Mary Ann, factional speaker of the state House of Assembly, Frank Okiye and his wife, the other six members of the state house of assembly, Chief Judge of the state, Justice (Mrs) Esther Edigin, state chairman of the PDP, Tony Aziegbemi, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, former Chief Whip of the Senate, Roland Owie, as well as all the local government council chairmen in the state, amongst other political leaders.