- Says his emergence as PDP candidate is a miracle
By Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Saturday described his emergence as the PDP governorship candidate as a miracle from God.
He spoke Saturday after receiving his certificate of governorship primary.
He also named the deputy governor, Philip Shuibu, as his running mate, adding “you don’t change a winning team.”
Obaseki, in his acceptance speech, said, “My emergence as the governorship candidate of the PDP in the just concluded primary election is just the hand of God. It is miraculous. I and my deputy are grateful to this great party”.
He continued, “In hours of tribulation in our political storm, PDP gave us a huge umbrella. This ought to be our first party because of the values of justice, fairness. We found out that transparency and quality of governance reigns in this party.”
He took time to commend the National Organising Secretary, Austin Akobundu; National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan; and the National Legal Adviser for their prompt responses to issues regarding his waiver and eventual nomination.
He said that the people of Edo State were consulted before he defected to the PDP, adding, “the people of Edo state said, where you go, we will go. We came from a political party, let’s go back from where we are coming from.”
“We are certain that victory is ours,” he added.
Praising other governorship aspirants on the platform of the party, he said “help me thank our co-aspirants that stepped down for us, despite all expenses. They stepped down not on personal ego but for the good of Edo people”.
He also commended the governors of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambawul; Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa; Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; and the governors of PDP in the Southeast, for their efforts in seeing him emerge as the governorship candidate.
He was accompanied to the PDP national secretariat by Deputy Governor Shuaibu, Senator Clifford Ordia (Edo central), Godwin Ikhine and Kenneth Imasuagbon, among others.
Speaking earlier before handing over certificate of return as the governorship candidate of PDP to Obaseki, PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, said “the just conclude governorship election in Benin, Edo state was an improvement on Port Harcourt conversation of 2018.
According to Secondus, “By making sure that one man, one vote counts in a transparent manner, Nigerians saw that what happened in Benin was the best seen so far. We will do more by conducting a free and fair election by giving confidence to Nigerians on election issues. We shall ensure that the PDP practice an all-inclusive system”.
Secondus said Obaseki was welcomed to the party, describing the governors elected on the PDP platform as performing exceedingly well.
“In the same way, the PDP governors are the best in all states that PDP govern. You are welcomed. This is a party of fairness and justice as power belongs to the people.
“We have learnt from our mistakes. Let the people judge us, Nigerian people believe in PDP. What happened in Edo State in terms of free and fair election is what will happen in Ondo State. There would be no imposition of any candidate. By our processes and standards, we shall continue to deepen democracy in the party and Nigeria as a whole.”
Secondus described the emergence of Obaseki as act God and miracle, explaining that Nigerians will see how a miracle governor will win election in Edo state.
He said, “if you have the support of the people, war is not an alternative. We accepted Obaseki because he has performed. Every one believe that he has performed. He has provided infrastructure and good governance to the people. But only one person or a few are against him. We must ensure that the interest of the people come first.
“In the PDP, we are guided by the rule of law and process. The process of your adoption and waiver was transparently done and in line with the rule of law.
“Today’s ceremony is a confirmation of your election at the election that took place at the Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin was fair and transparently done. We are a people that fear God and we put the interest of the people first in whatever we do. In the name of God Almighty, we present the certificate of return to you, Godwin Obaseki.
“We now present to you the INEC nomination form and it is this form that you will use to nominate your running mate,” Secondus stated.
Also speaking, the Organising Secretary, Austin Akobundu, said that the essence of the certificate of return, was to tell the world who is the governorship candidate of the party for the September 19 governorship candidate. In his brief comment, the chairman of the PDP Edo State governorship election, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, said with the transparent nature of the governorship primary, PDP was ready to capture Edo State.