The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, on Saturday led no fewer than 13 APC state governors, party elders and leaders to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City to flag off the campaign of the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his running mate, Hon. Philip Shaibu.
Chief Oyegun, who gave kudos to Governor Adams Oshiomhole for not owing workers in the state any salary, challenged Edo electorate to chose between the locust 12 years of the PDP that left the Heart Beat state in deciding which one to earn their votes for a better tomorrow.
Chief Oyegun said the September 10 governorship election in the state was going to be a mere formality as Obaseki and Philip Shuaibu ticket has already given the party victory.
According to him, with the wonderful performance of Governor Oshiomhole in the past seven and half years, the APC is already looking forward to the inauguration of Obaseki as the governor of the state.
The APC leader said, “the picture has been painted, the choice before you is very clear; Governor Oshiomhole has done that, you now have a choice before you, the choice of failure of PDP rule. Did you have any new road, school, hospitals, water; where did your money go to?
“Then came Governor Oshiomhole, seven and half years of Governor Oshiomhole you are now satisfied with new schools and modern cities, five star hospital, hope, progress and development in Edo state.
“You now have hope when Obaseki come as governor. In this country there are 27 states that are broke, Edo State is not one of them and we now pay salaries. As at today we are continuing with execution of projects, Edo State is different.”,
While urging the people to reciprocate the progress of the Oshiomhole’s seven and half years in office instead of a return of the PDP’s 10 years of locust, Oyegun said, “today I am presenting to you a brilliant young man, a man of facts, a brain box, a doer and an achiever, the brain behind the success of Edo State, the software behind the hardware, Obaseki as the next governor.”
Chief Oyegun on behalf of the party leadership and members declared that “with your mandate I’m handing this flag of victory to Godwin Obaseki as the next governor of Edo state.
In his over an hour speech, Governor Oshiomhole who listed some of his numerous achievements tasked the people to have confidence in the administration of President Buhari in its drive to fight corruption and reposition a nation that was bastardized by previous governments under the PDP.
He berated the opposition party’s leadership for fielding Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as its governorship candidate, alleging that as a man of God he allegedly is faced with telling the public what he did with the N700m campaign funds meant for purchase of arms to fight against terrorism.
He said all those who collected money meant for arms purchase and other corrupt enrichment must not be excused and castigated Chief Tom Ikimi over his allegations against him that he Ikimi invited him to come and eat from the food they have already cooked but that he Oshiomhole came and took the whole food, the plate, spoon, pot and even closed the kitchen where the food was cooked.
He called on Chief Tom Ikimi to learn how to discuss issues than food and pepper soup.
Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, charged the people to support Obaseki just as they did to Oshiomhole in order to bring about good things to the state.
The state APC chairman, Barrister Amslem Ojezua, said the ruling has started harvesting from the PDP self inflicted crisis and disunity since the members have not known peace.
He said “our enemies are disarray; some time ago some evil people met in Asaba and said they want to take over Edo state and since then they have not known peace. Who is the governorship candidate of PDP but Obaseki is the candidate of the APC.
We have 23 governors behind us and the national chairman of our party and we are ruling at the center,” he said.
Obaseki in his speech commended all the men and women as well as all the stakeholders who made it possible for his emergence, especially, the state governor for his hard work and doggedness as a political colossus towards the development and emancipation of people of the state.
Obaseki also commended the other co-aspirants of the party who demonstrated that the fortunes of the party are superior to individual interests, assuring that the flag of the party in the state would continue to fly high above all else in terms of public acceptability and organizational cohesion as well as party loyalty.
He declared, “a mind once enlightened cannot become dark, a visionary leader creates a new dawn, working with passion, insight and boldness, produces a rhythm that compels his followers to march onto the powerful flow of passion.”
He praised the achievements of Governor Oshiomhole, saying that “The totality of transformation we have witnessed in the last seven and spans all facets of development today, we have witnessed a solid foundation policies, transformation of our infrastructures but most importantly we have witnessed the most inclusive of development for Edo state; these frameworks that can receive sustainable progress and continued development of our dear state, all of these proceed from the visionary leaders of Oshiomhole”
He pledged that his government when elected would focus on agriculture as hub of the state and to create over 200, 000 jobs, industrialization, ensure technical and vocational skills development and women empowerment as well as creation of an enabling environment for peace and harmonious living amongst all segments of people in the state.
Amongst other party leaders and governors at the event include governors of Plateau State Simon Lalong, Kano State Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, Niger, Borno, Nasarawa, Kogi states, APC chieftain Niyi Adebayo, ex-governor Olasunsoye Oyinlola, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai, Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, Senator Osita Izunaso, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, while other governors were represented by their deputies and several others dignitaries.