By Ozioriva Aliu
BENIN CITY – GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State Friday said he almost quit on his second term bid at the peak of the crisis with his predecessor but for the encouragement, he got from fellow governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extraction.
Speaking at the Samuel Ogbemdia stadium where he was declared winner of the PDP governorship primary haven scored 1,952 votes of the total 2024 delegates that voted in the election, Obaseki also claimed that the three aspirants that stepped down for him did not “ask for a dime”.
Shortly before the commencement of voting, the trio of Gideon Ikhine, Hon Omeregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Barr Kenneth Imansuagbon all announced their stepping down for Governor Obaseki.
Obaseki said: “ Today, history is being made in Nigeria because the victory we are celebrating today has been a long and strenuous one, strenuous one to political freedom which has culminated in my election as the flag bearer of our great party and by the grace of God I will be governor again for another four years.
“I wholeheartedly accept this responsibility which has been entrusted on me by the representatives of our great party and this responsibility will enable me to continue and consolidate on our achievements, it will help to give good governance in Edo state. It will help us to restore the pride of Edo people and make Edo state one of the best places to live and to do business in Nigeria. Today marks a defining moment in the political history of our state and indeed our country. Our story is one of courage in the midst of a contrived crisis and ultimate triumph over retrogressive forces that were determined to hijack our state for their own selfish endeavours.
With today’s election, we have demonstrated that no mountain is too high to stop the aspiration of a people that have put their faith in God and are in one accord to make life better for the greater majority of their people.
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“I must admit that there were moments during this recent struggle when as a mere mortal I was almost tempted to quit but I thank God for my family, friends, my colleague governors, my brother governors: let me use this opportunity to thank the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and our other colleagues particularly Governor Wike of Rivers State, Governor Umahi of Ebonyi State, my brother Governor Okowa of Delta State and many others.
“I want to thank our friends and our allies and you, our teeming supporters who have provided the morale and safety for me to carry on to this day.”
He said “The desire to improve the lives of our Edo people have been my main driving force and our greatest incentive. Our team is concerned about this and our faith in our people and in our God remains unshaken. We have made remarkable process in the areas of education, health, infrastructure, job creation, security among others and we are determined to do more in the coming four years.
“I salute all Edo people at home and abroad as well as our friends from other states for standing on the belief that a better Edo state is possible if we allow the people and not an overbearing godfather to lead, I implore you to keep faith and warn you that there is more hard work ahead.
“We are eternally grateful to the PDP governors, to the leaders of our great party ably led by Senator Uche Secondus and all other members of the NWC who have provided us the shelter under that large umbrella, we are grateful to those who emphatically told me, Governor Godwin Obaseki, anywhere you go, we will follow, you told me I was not alone in the struggle. As children of God, we will be magnanimous in victory but we will not forget that when the rains were beating us, PDP provided us with the umbrella.”