By Adibe Emenyonu
The Governor of Rivers State and Chairman, Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Nyesom Wike; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and other governors from the South-south and South-east states yesterday graced the grand finale rally of the PDP and its Edo State candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin-city, the state capital.
The governors, in their separate speeches, charged the electorate to vote and protect their votes.
Speaking at the rally, Wike said Obaseki has done his best in going round the 192 wards to solicit for their votes and that the large number of persons who have turned out at the rally was a clear attestation that he has done greatly for the state.
He said going by the crowd at the rally, the governor has already won the election and that the electorate must compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain a fair umpire in the election.
Wike urged the electorate to cast their votes for Obaseki in order to end godfatherism in the state, noting that Edo State must be a starting point to end godfatherism in Nigeria.
On his own, the Sokoto State Governor, Tambuwa, called on the Edo people to rise up and protect their votes and should not be intimidated or allowed themselves to be enticed by money to sell their votes.
According to him, “I hear that somebody is coming here with a bullion van. Do not sell your vote. Do not be intimidated; vote and let it be counted. Vote for continuity.”
While speaking also, Okowa commended Obaseki for his zealousness in taking his campaigns round the 192 wards, a feat he said had not been done in the country before.
The Delta State governor said those who are calling him an outsider trying to dabble into Edo State politics should have a rethink because he is part and parcel of the state, noting that his grandmother and father In-law are from Igbanke in Orhiomwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
In his remark, former Governor of Anambra State and the PDP vice-presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Peter Obi, said voting Obaseki for second time in the state would guarantee them and their unborn children a brighter future.
The National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, said the European Union and other lovers of democracy all over the world should rise up and make sure that the Edo State governorship election is free, fair and credible.
He said the ban recently placed on some political leaders in the country was a welcome development, noting that such should be extended to any politician who tends to carry out such act in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor and the PDP governorship candidate, Obaseki, expressed appreciation to all the governors and those who graced the rally.
He said his political campaigns round the 192 wards of the state has opened his eyes to some of the challenges faced by most of the communities in the state, adding that he would put more efforts in addressing the situation in his second tenure.
The governor also said his joining the PDP has made him to know the importance of brotherhood, stressing that the PDP governors have shown him love and concern in recent times.
Obaseki said he has successfully conquered the local godfather and that the fight would be on how to conquer those at the national.