The stage is set for the much awaited All Progressives Congress, APC governorship primary in Edo state. All are apprehensive on what will befall the exercise though Governor Adams Oshiomhole has assured aspirants and delegates that it will be free, fair and violence free. The eye-catching event which will be conducted by a 7-man committee with the Kastina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari as Chairman has also Hon. Andrew Uchendu as Secretary, Hon. Yusuf Maianguwa, Dr. Tunde Esan, Alh. Shuaibu Musa, Alh. Ibrahim Soja and Mr Amara Iwuanyanwu. Also an election appeal committee chaired by Opeyemi Bamidele, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mustapha Salisu and Ekwy Onyido will be on ground to listen to complaints of aspirants or other party loyalists. Masari on his part has assured the party leadership and all participants of a level playing field by ensuring that the primaries would be free and fair in the interest of all the aspirants saying “We have no preferred candidate, we have no friends and what we will be doing in Edo, we will be doing for APC, for Nigeria and for the Edo people”. With these Pre, during and post plans put in place, the aspirants should have faith in the National leadership of the party who have chosen the abovementioned people to conduct a primary that will change the political history of the people of Edo state.

Leaders and Delegates from the 192 wards have converged to choose who is economically educated and financially skilful to turn the dwindling oil fortune of the state and that of the country to gains for the masses favour.

With the widely speculated that worse times in Nigeria is soon to come, the need to diversify the country’s means of wealth have however in different forums been advised by elder statesmen and experts in the country.

Among the aspirants vying for the position of the governor is the Chairman of the Edo state Economic and Strategy Team, Mr Godwin Obaseki who has presented facts about governance and what it takes to survive total oil crash in the entire country. Godwin Obaseki whose career in the private sector spanning over 30 years ago has established track records in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector both internationally and in Nigeria. Through Afrinvest West Africa Limited one of the most trusted advisory firms in the domestic corporate finance market, pioneering major innovations and providing leadership in the Nigerian Securities market Obaseki has advised many Nigerians into becoming billionaires. He has brought Azura-Edo IPP project worth over $1 billion to Ihovbor in Uhunwode LGA, attracted investment in the Rubber Sub-sector for the development of the single largest Rubber Plantation project in Nigeria in Sokponba in Orhiomwon LGA, laid a framework for Local Economic Empowerment through out-growers schemes which has natural endowment including Oil Palm, Rubber, Cassava, Cocoa, Rice and other grains. Obaseki who have widely consulted with elder statesmen on how to survive in the state without oil have however promised not to relent on continuing the transformation agenda of Governor Oshiomhole who for the past seven and half years has turned the state into a galore of modern infrastructure.

While going round the 192 wards in the 18 local government area of Edo state, Obaseki said, “It is God’s will that I should come at this time, oil is gradually drying up and agriculture is coming to replace it like the old days, so I know how it is and I have no problem because I know when investors come. You will help to protect the investment they have and what you also have because there is going to be work for everybody. “I am very clear in my objectives, I understand fully what we need to do, I have been in this government for eight years when we started and I understand why many things are the way they are”.

“My role is to take over from where Oshiomhole stopped and I understand the responsibilities ahead of me which is first to unite the people of the state. My own politics will be how to create N200 billions revenue because when I do that the restiveness will come down, that is my purpose and that is why I am in this race.

“I want to create job, we have young boys and girls who are without jobs, why because we have political leaders who are more concern about themselves. We are going to change all of that. We will mobilize and drive the other party out of this state”. While paying a “thank you” visit to local government areas in the state Obaseki said, “I will not forget you, because to forget you, is to forget myself. I have a responsibility, there is so much to do and by the grace of God, I will do the best I can. I am not a traditional politician that will promise heaven and earth but I will sit down and I will reflect because I have an idea of what we need to done and by the grace of God I will do what I have to do.

“I have come home to encourage even those that are not with us at this primary, let us advise them to speak with one voice. Because speaking with one voice will give me the encouragement to work for you.

“I am new generation politician; I had an option to walk away from governance after my time as the Chairman of the Economic and strategy team but I indicated interest to run for governor.

“For the decision you have made to make me your candidate, you will see the difference it will make in the lives of your communities. The focus will be on agriculture that is why it is important that we get our politics right so that large scale companies can come and invest in agriculture.

“I assure you that for the support that you have done for me; I will not disappoint you or forget what you have done”. He said.

Edo APC Primary: The Obaseki who’ll not disappoint
Ben Ogieva

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