Traditional rulers in the six Local Government Areas in Edo North have endorsed the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Godwin Obaseki, as their choice as the next Governor of the state from November 12, this year.
They also made cash contributions to his campaign to enable him reach out to people in other parts of the state, assuring him that he will win the election with a landslide in the whole of Edo North.
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers who converged in his palace, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh, Ikelebe III said their support for Obaski stems from the fact that he was introduced by their son, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who performed creditably as Governor.
He said: “this meeting is under the auspices of Edo North traditional rulers. The reason for it is that we have had one of our sons who has transformed Edo State in various aspects of human life. And from Edo Central, South and North, there has been a transformation of un-surpassing dimension.
“So, we want to demonstrate in no small sense that the whole of Edo North traditional rulers are behind him and the candidate that he is presenting for this governorship election in Edo State. Basically, that is the mission. And I want to say this, that Edo State traditional rulers have further committed themselves to this campaign by saying that whatever money you gave to traditional rulers at meetings at various locations of this nature, we donate it to the campaign that is on.
“I now wish to thank you for what you have been able to do in this state and Nigeria right from the time that you have been president of the NLC, and I am particularly proud that in 2002, the title I gave you was truly inspired, truly divinely inspired. I want to say that we are proud of ourselves, traditional rulers in Edo State will make history all round, and will continue to make history all round. So, on their behalf, I want to specially congratulate you for what God has made you do for us in this state and Nigeria, and what he is going to make you do for Nigeria right from Abuja. My congratulations, sir.”
He told Obaseki, “To the man you have asked us to support in this election, we say, may God give you every support. Now, it is necessary for us that he alone who is the majesty of the heavens and the earth, and the all-powerful, and the all-wise, Almighty God will go with you, and will guide you, to also add to what heritage that you have inherited this time you are going to inherit, and we say inherited because it has already been destined.
“What is destined by Almighty God, nobody can alter it, nobody can violate it; nobody can overtake it. So, we are happy to make that statement today because there is no doubt about the fact that the one who is propelling you and giving you to Edo State is a man that God has chosen for that assignment. And because of that, we are assuring you that we will continue to pray for your success in this exercise.”
Also speaking the Okuokpelagbe of Okpella, HRH Yesufu Dirisu “I want to say clearly that all he (Otaru) has said is hereby adopted by all of us, because words, in fact, are inadequate to tell you why. We have a reason to resolve that whatever our son is doing, whatever he was doing, we were behind him, and whatever he will be doing, we will continue to be behind him, the reason being that there is nobody who will argue that the traditional institution of this state has never witnessed what our son was able to do for us, is able to do for us and will continue to do for us because as he leaves here, he is going to higher level. And when he is there, he will continue to remember us. So, that is why I will join Otaru to say, on behalf of all of us, we thank you so much our son; we thank you so much our governor. We thank God for bringing somebody like you to make Edo North traditional rulers and the entire Edo North proud. It is not flattery to let you know that all traditional rulers, both openly, jointly and in their private rooms are praying for you because of what you have done for us, what you have done for the state, what God has made you do for Edo State, and in fact Nigeria.”
On his part, the Olokpe of Okpe, Oba Idogun of Okpe said, “I want to say on behalf of Afemai traditional rulers, we thought it fit; we thought of it. How can we repay our dear son who has served Edo State very well, who has made the Afemai people proud? He has made us proud. We do not know how to show appreciation, but this is the only little way. We say that what you have done to Edo State, to Nigeria, particularly to Afemai people. Anywhere an Afemai person is, he can stand up today or tomorrow to say, yes, when we had our son, this is what he has done. We are all well pleased. This is the only little way we can say, thank you for making us proud. We pray that the candidate that you have presented to us, God almighty will crown him with success.”
Responding, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said, “I am really short of words this afternoon. I wish my biological father was still alive to hear your very kind royal words and all that you have done for me these past nine years. I include the period of the first electioneering campaign and then the judicial process before assuming office seven and half years ago. As your highness said, God gives power to who he wishes, but he uses people of his chosen to make it happen.”
The Governor continued, “I believe, my royal fathers, with your endorsement now, knowing that each and every one of you is not just registered voters, many if not all the people in your respective domains, they will take a cue from your body language and even express instruction on how to vote. I want to assure you highnesses that Godwin has worked with me long enough why we have done what we had to do, and therefore, he will have no difficulty in further improving on it.“
He said, “Let to me announce to Godwin that his royal highness just passed an envelope to me which contains his royal donation in support of your candidature. I like to openly pass it to you.”
Expressing his gratitude to the royal fathers, the governorship of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Godwin Obaseki who couldn’t hide his joy at the royal endorsements said: “If I say that I am not truly humbled by what I have seen here today, I am not telling the truth. I feel truly humbled, but more importantly, I feel immensely challenged because what is happening here today is that someone is asking your royal highnesses to trust someone me.”
He said: the next four years will be one in which we I will go out to attract investors into our various domains; to get investors, we have to guarantee security of the investments and who can do that more than our royal fathers, the custodian of the traditional institutions and the ones closest to the people?”
He assured the royal fathers that he will justify the confidence reposed in him and take Edo to a higher level, saying “whatever we have started, we will continue and improve on it.”
Twenty-three royal fathers from different kingdoms, communities and domains across Edo North were at the palace of the Otaru of Auchi to endorse the APC candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki.