Efosa Ogieriakhi mobilises diaspora Nigerians for Edo governorship election

A group of Europe-based indigenes from Edo State, Nigeria, has endorsed the governorship aspiration of Godwin Obaseki, a member of the governing All Progressives Congress, and pledged to campaign for him at the forthcoming election in the state later in the year. The decision was made in Berlin in March at a meeting of the Edo Diaspora for Obaseki (EDO) 2016, a coalition of groups from across Europe.

Obaseki, who is currently the Chairman of the Edo State Government’s Economic and Strategy Team, is the founder of Afrinvest West Africa Limited, one of Nigeria’s leading financial advisory firms.

The meeting’s convenor, Berlin-based practising lawyer and a former Legal Adviser to Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), Efosa Ogieriakhi, said the decision to back Obaseki was based on the sterling qualities of the financial expert.  “If you look at the field of aspirants, there is a total absence of any credible alternative to Obaseki.”

Obaseki, who holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from Columbia University, New York, is renowned for pioneering major innovations in the Nigerian securities market.

Addressing the gathering, Ogieriakhi, who is also a former Vice-President of the German chapter of NIDOE, said he was motivated to mobilise the Edo diaspora not only in Europe but also in North America for Obaseki’s candidacy because it was important to ensure that a fitting successor takes over from current Governor Adams Oshiomhole. “Nobody can deny that Comrade Oshiomhole has brought many positive changes to Edo State,” he added. “We don’t want Edo State to go back to where it was before Oshiomhole came into office.”

Ogieriakhi told the more than 150 participants at the meeting, that the need to back Obaseki was predicated on the necessity for “the consolidation of the many policies, programmes and projects that are creating a basis for the sustainable economic and social development of the state”.

Speaker after speaker at the meeting spoke glowingly of the rare qualities of Obaseki, who is credited for contributing to the exemplary management of Edo’s economy. The governorship aspirant is believed to play an important role in Governor Oshiomhole’s frugal management of the state’s resources and his efforts to put the state on a sound economic pedestal since his inception of office in 2008. Dr Uduehi Momoh from the UK said Edo was lucky to have such a “thoroughbred professional like Obaseki” aspiring to govern the state in a country where people like him avoid politics.

Among those who also spoke at the meeting were Omomene Okojie from France, Benedikt Aimionowane (Germany), Bobby Obaseki (Germany),  Osarumwense Ogbeide (Germany), Dr Jimoh Ojo (Spain) and Dennis Akhigbe from Belgium.

EDO 2016, in a statement after the meeting, said: “We recognise the sterling performance of Governor Oshiomhole and the many positive changes witnessed in the state since his inception of office and we believe that the person to succeed him has to be competent enough to build on the solid foundation already laid by the Comrade Governor.”

The group called on all contestants for governorship in Edo State to carry out their campaign activities peacefully because “the peace and political stability in the past seven years are among the factors attributed to Edo’s economic success”.

Obaseki served with distinction on the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Pension System during the Obasanjo presidency (1999-2007). He is an active member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and currently serves on its Governing Council. The boardroom doyen, who is a Fellow of the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, also serves on the board of, among other companies, Dorman Long Engineering Limited, Pillar Oil Limited, KCA Deutag Limited and Seric Impianti International Limited.

The Edo governorship election is scheduled to take place on 9 November.

Sola Jolaoso

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