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Atiku best choice for Edo people, reject same-faith presidency - Obaseki to Edo residents

22 Feb 2023


... ‘PDP candidate will fast track Benin port, fix Benin-Auchi Road, others’

… urges youths to shun violence in Saturday’s poll

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged Edo people to come out en masse to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Saturday’s presidential election, noting that Edo State and its people will benefit tremendously from an Atiku presidency.

Obaseki, in a state-wide broadcast on Thursday, said the election of Saturday offers us a golden opportunity to vote out the All Progressives Congress (APC) government and vote in a president and party at the centre that will benefit Edo people.

Noting that the policies of the APC-run Federal Government have continued to limit and frustrate the government’s efforts at pursuing life-changing projects to boost the state’s economy and improve the livelihoods of the people, Obaseki said an Atiku-led federal government will boost the delivery of the Benin port and the Benin Enterprise Park projects, among other projects which have the potential to transform Edo into the most vibrant sub-national economy in West Africa.

He said, “My dear good people of Edo State, I want to sincerely thank you for your cooperation and support these past six years. With your support, we have been able to undertake several developmental projects despite the challenges we face as a nation.

“On Saturday, February 25th, we will be going to the polls to elect a president and those who will represent us in Abuja. This election is very significant and will mark a watershed in our democracy.

“Since you elected me as your governor in 2016, I, with my team, have totally dedicated ourselves to the service of Edo State. We have built hundreds of kilometres of roads across the three Senatorial Districts of the state. We have invested significantly in education, particularly in basic education through our EdoBEST programme and are beginning to reap the fruit of this investment in our children.

“Through EdoJobs, we have created over 200,000 jobs in agriculture, production, technology, and entertainment.

“Because of the importance of electricity to our development, we were able to attract investors to the Azura 450MW project and the Ossiomo IPP. With available electricity, we are lighting up our cities and attracting manufacturing companies into Edo.

“The Edo State Oil Palm Programme, where we have attracted several large-scale international and domestic companies to estate farming, is now the reference in agriculture in Africa. More Edo citizens are now investing in agriculture.”

Obaseki added, “We have attracted global retail chains, with sprawling new malls opening in the state; this is in addition to several top-class hospitality and entertainment businesses. Benin Airport has become the third busiest in the country in terms of passenger traffic and consequently, our hotels have an occupancy rate averaging not less than 80 percent daily.  

“In the area of security, working closely with our communities, we have been able to make Edo a much safer place to live. To sustain the current peace, we will need help from a central government that can secure itself.”

The governor continued, “As we continue to strive in Edo, unfortunately, we have not seen a corresponding move from the Federal Government. On the contrary, the policies of the APC-run Federal Government have continued to limit and frustrate our efforts. The economic policies of the Federal Government which I have complained about have created inflation and hardship for our people.

“The Federal Government has been unable to repair many Federal roads, which crisscross Edo State. Benin-Auchi Road, which runs from the South to the North is an example of how the inaction of the Federal Government has badly affected the economic life of Edo people.

“The election of Saturday offers us a golden opportunity to vote out the APC government and vote in a president and party at the centre that will benefit Edo people. With a PDP-controlled central government in Abuja, Edo will benefit tremendously.

“I have had one-on-one meetings with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, our presidential candidate and he promised to complete the Benin-Auchi Road. Additionally, he assured me of his support for the delivery of the Benin port and Benin Enterprise Park projects, which have the potential to transform Edo into the most vibrant sub-national economy in West Africa. Given the progress we have made on these projects, I believe it would be best for us to have a President that can help fast-track their delivery in good time. Also, to be able to fully complete other lofty projects we have started in the state, the importance of being in full alliance with the central government is critical. This is why the PDP presidential candidate is the best choice for Edo people.”

He further noted, “My people, just look at the state of Benin-Auchi Road, Benin-Agbor Road, Benin-Sapele Road and many more. All these are Federal Roads that have totally collapsed due to years of abandonment despite their strategic importance to our country. All efforts to get the Federal Government to fix them have fallen on deaf ears. This is why we need our party to be in charge at the centre so that the federal government will be more responsive to our needs.

“If my party, PDP, were to be in charge, they would not have abandoned us and left Edo people to suffer, as is the case today. Let us not be deceived. Anyone apart from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as president would mean that we will suffer for at least another four years.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the only Presidential candidate in this election that has openly taken a position on the issue of devolution of power. Devolution of power to the constituent parts of Nigeria will cede more resources to the states and local councils, which will consequently increase the flow of funds to Edo to enable us continue to work for the people and improve their lives.

“Edo State, being a predominantly Christian State and also with a responsible and accommodating Muslim population will abhor the emergence of a same-faith presidency. We must therefore do everything within our power to make sure this does not happen.

“We must also not forget that the Vice-Presidential candidate of the PDP, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, is very close to us in Edo.

“Aside from being the Governor of Delta State – our sister State from the Bendel family – he attended Edo College in Benin City and has maternal parentage from Orhionmwon Local Government Area.”

According to him, “Our PDP senatorial candidates are very strong and experienced politicians, who with their ranking status in parliament will attract resources and projects to Edo State. For the sake of Edo State, we should vote for them.

“Similarly, most of our House of Representatives candidates have represented us in the House of Assembly. We know them and they have proven track records.”

“Politics is about interest and one question I believe all Edo people must ask themselves is: what is the interest of Edo State in this election? I call on all Edo people, our fathers, mothers, youths, women, and the elderly, to come out en masse to cast your votes.

“As you cast your vote, remember that a PDP government will serve the best interest of Edo State and its citizens.”

The governor, while urging voters in the state to shun violence, added, “Let us shun all acts of violence and other actions that will disrupt the voting process.  I trust that we will all act responsibly and adhere to the guidelines specified by the electoral body so that we can have a peaceful, fair, and credible voting process.”

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