Obaseki GodwinChairman of the Edo State Economic and Strategy Team, Godwin Obaseki has threw the hat into the ring for the September governorship contest in the state, saying that he would be committing a sin against God and people if he failed to come out and serve the people.

Obaseki, who is eying the governorship seat on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) after the strong man, Adams Oshiomhole must have served out his tow-term towards the end of this year, is said to have the backing of governor Oshiomhole.

The aspirant who spoke today, Friday when he formally declared his intention to contest the election declared: “It will be a sin against God and my people if I walk away from Edo State with the knowledge and experience that I have gathered. It will be unpatriotic not to stand and be counted. Over the last thirty years, I have had successful experience in the private sector and over the last seven years I have been part of the most successful administration in Nigeria.

“As this administration comes to an end, we are faced with new challenges. As you all know the price of crude oil has reduced significantly, therefore Nigeria is not able to earn enough foreign exchange to import its goods and services. This has brought economic hardship to many of us. These challenges pose new threats to us. In the face of these challenges, we need a leadership with fresh and original ideas to help us face these challenges, so that we can build on the success of the Oshiomhole led administration.

“We must be courageous and determined to achieve the goals we want for our people. I therefore stand before you today, on the shoulders of the successes built by the current administration over the last seven and half years. We have transformed Edo State in all aspects. However, the Edo project is still work in progress and we are now in the most delicate part of the journey. We cannot afford any reversal in the achievements we have made today.

“There are a lot more we still need to do. We still have to construct thousands of kilometres of road into our rural communities and into farms. We still need to improve our school infrastructure. We need to further strengthen our service delivery to our people, we need to address the unemployment problem which is facing us. It will be a huge risk for all of us if we reverse political powers to those who lack the deep understanding of how we got to where we are and how we have achieved what we have achieved and how we will make the link between what we have achieved and our future.

“If we make the mistake of giving power to such people we will go back and suffer more than we have ever suffered before. By the grace of God that will never happen in Edo state. I am very proud and happy that I have been an integral part of the success we have achieved in Edo state. The knowledge I have gained in the last seven and half years have put me in a unique position to understand what is required to take Edo to the next level.

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“I believe that I can fly Edo higher. What Edo state needs today is a leader who in addition to political sagacity has the managerial, and intellectual experience to manage the state in this difficult time. Over the last sixteen weeks, I have consulted extensively with elder statesmen across the state, with my colleagues in government, with my family and friends and with delegates around the 192 wards of Edo state, I stand before you today with the commitment to ensuring that what we have achieved is not only sustained but so that we can guarantee the future of our children.

“So that we can provide empowerment for our women, our pensioners, civil servants, markets women, our artisans with deeper involvement with our traditional institutions. I therefore announce to you all that I am seeking the ticket of the APC so that I can fly the flag of APC come September 10, 2016. I pledge to build Edo state that has a strong economy, I will continue to build the infrastructural revolution that we have started.”

The aspirant had earlier announced the state Commissioner for Works and Oshiomhole’s political son, Engr. Osarodion Ogie, as his Campaign Director.

Shortly after, Ogie endorsed Obaseki on behalf of members of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s political family, saying that they will not embark on any hate campaign because “we have a good product. You cannot build your house and abandon it for a tenant to take over. People are shouting continuity, continuity, what are you going to continue, it is Oshiomhole’s work.

“Who is the best person to do the work, Obaseki. The game just started, we will not abuse anybody but anybody that abuses us, we will reply. I speak for Oshiomhole political family, we have endorsed Obaseki and the game has just begun,” he declared.

As if the endorsement plan had been pre-arranged, Barrister Ogie’s comments opened the floodgate of other endorsements.

The Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Folly Ogedengbe followed, endorsing Obaseki on behalf of the Edo North people, just as former Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Lucky Imasuen endorsed Obaseki on behalf of Edo South, while the Deputy Speaker of the House Justin Okonobo endorsed him on behalf of the people of Edo Central.

The endorsement of the APC lawmakers in the State House of Assembly was done by Chris Okaeben, representing Oredo. [myad]