Governor Godwin Obaseki is at the Wadata Plaza, is currently at the headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abuja to receive his certificate of return after emerging the party’s candidate for the September 19, 2020, Edo governorship election.
Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu is also at the party’s national secretariat for the exercise.
The event which is being attended by the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus also has in attendance, Governor Bala Mohammed, chairman of the Edo electoral panel and members of the committee.
In his brief remark, Governor Bala Mohammed recounted the events leading to the voluntary withdrawal from the race by the aspirants, noting that they all pledged their commitment to work with Obaseki.
The governor had on Thursday polled a total of 1,952 votes to emerge winner of the primary election.
Governor Obaseki was accompanied to the event by two aspirants who stepped down for him Engineer Gideon Ikhine and Mr. Kenneth Imasuangbon.
Obaseki receives certificate
Obaseki after been presented with the Certificate of Return by the leadership of the party in Abuja, promises to live up to the party’s mandate.
Accompanied by the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, Kenneth Imasuangbon and Gideon Ikhine, two aspirants who stepped down for him in the race for the ticket, Obaseki lamented his ordeal and the treatment meted out to him and Shaibu in the past few years.
He thanked the National Working Committee, NWC led by Prince Uche Secondus, while noting that the people of Edo state have resolved to follow him en-masse to the PDP ahead of the election.
“What all these occurrences in the last fortnight tell me is that there is a hand of God that orders things. I want to commit to you that in line with the ideal and motto of this party, me and my deputy, by the grace of God, who is going to be my running mate, for the September 19 election, because you do not change a winning team. I want to commit to you that we shall promote the ideals of this great party and you can always count on us.
“Whenever the National Working Committee calls on us, we will be there. We have no choice because from what I have seen from my brother governors in this party, what they have done and what they did for us in the party and how they revived my political career, I have never seen that level of commitment.
“I and my deputy are very grateful for this great party. Like I said, you will never know what God has destined for you. In our hours of tribulation, when we were pushed out in the rains and storm from our political party, you came out with that huge umbrella to give us cover and shelter. It was only when we entered the house that we then realised that this was the house we should have been in the first instance.
“Because we now saw that the values in the house are the values we cherish and the values we live for- values of justice, values of law and order, values of care for our people and putting the people first. These are the values we have always been in pursuit of, which we found in this new house where we have been graciously accommodated.
“I must thank members of the National Working Committee. The quality of governance and response that I have witnessed, has enabled us to achieve much in less than one week.
“We want to tell you that we are very grateful and we want to assure you that Ed people told us that ‘wherever we go, they will go’. On further consultation, they told us that there was a party where most of them came from. They told us to go and explore the possibility of us going back there. So by the grace of God, we have no doubt that victory is going to be ours on September 19.”
He also thanked the trio of Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Kenneth Imasuangbon and Gideon Ikhine for graciously stepping down for him even as he assured them of inclusiveness in the scheme of things.
In his remarks, chairman of the Edo electoral committee and governor of Bauchi state, Senator Bala Mohammed thanked the leadership of the party for the opportunity to serve even as he maintained that the exercise rancour-free.
“There was no rancour. There was no confusion, our eyes were on the ball. We kept the rules and regulations established in the tradition of the party for holding primaries. It was transparent, free and fair. At the end of the day, we discussed extensively and three of the contestants mooted the idea of stepping down voluntarily, which they did the following day.
“To the witness of everybody, they voluntary stepped down because of the qualities of Governor Godwin Obaseki and because of the kind of leadership we have given.
“But because of the provision of the electoral act, we went ahead and held the primary to the glare of everybody. We have to categorization, invalid because of the invalidation and voluntary withdrawal of the candidates and one lone candidate, which was HE Governor Godwin Obaseki. The election was held and of course, at the end of the day, all the leaders were peaceful. Yes. We had some few cases of people agitating one of more delegation, but we knew it was because of the COVID-19 that did not allow us to conclude our own ward elections. But certainly, because the PDP is a family under your able leadership everybody and everything fell in line.
After the election, we had 72 invalid votes and Governor Godwin Obaseki scored 1952 with the total votes cast being 2024 everything went in line with the accredited voters and we have the results here with us.
“And other documents where other candidates voluntarily agreed to step down. And for the first time in Edo, we have a free election where there was no mistrust no suspicion no infight. Everybody was in line and of course, even our elders were there, members of the Board of Trustees Elders of the party, the youth, the woman everybody applauded the election.
Excellency I’m happy to be part of this process. I’m happy to report that all the governor’s that we went there really works tirelessly to make sure that all our differences and challenges were resolved and we observe that at the end of the day we are ready and Edo is ready for capture. To be won by this very important party, the PDP. I’m very sure and confidently sure that Edo is going to fall in line within the realm of good governance of the PDP and I hereby submit the report with all the details and attachments.
The power belongs to the people – Prince Uche Secondus
Having listened to the Chairman of Edo electoral panels and members of the panel. Our party is very thorough. PDP stands for and believes that we are a party that is guided by our rules. This is an improvement from what was achieved from our last national convention. And we will continue to improve our performances, to make sure that our internal mechanism is the best for the Nigeria people.
We believe in one man, one vote. And we believe in transparency, free and fair election. This is the only party that can provide that.
We all watched the exercise before we came here, Nigerians have agreed that what happened at Edo was the best. It was free, fair and open for everybody to see. Members of the ruling party, the APC watched it throughout the night and they couldn’t sleep.
So we commend you and your team. We will continue to do more with our primaries and congresses to give confidence to our people. And to make sure that our party is for the people to believe in themselves and have confidence in themselves that they can participate. And our party is all-inclusive. And as you can see our governors in the state we control are the best. We have the best governors, we have the best state with good.
So we believe that in a few days, that the governor came from APC to PDP, he is enjoying his stay. This is a party of Justice, this is a party of equity, this is a party of fairness. The power belongs to the people. It is not us, it is you, so the power belongs to you.
This party we have to learn from our mistake, we have reformed and we have come with open arms to embrace everybody. And make sure that this country belong to us all. We are not a sectional party, we will not be there and some part of the country will be crying. Nigeria belongs to all us.
Today we have taken an important step to ensure that Edo people believe in us. They believe in us and they will vote for PDP. So from Edo, we will move to Ondo and gradually to all part of the country.