By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State including the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi were among the dignitaries that graced the final rally for the re-election bid of Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
The governors, in their separate speeches, charged the electorate to vote and protect their votes.
Wike, said governor Obaseki has done his best in going round the 192 wards to solicit for their votes and that the large number of persons that have turned out at the rally was a clear attestation that he has done what he needed to do adding that going by the number of persons at the rally, the governor has already won the election and that the electorate must compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to announce the election result in his favour.
On his part, Tambuwal said the people of the state must rise up to protect their votes and should not be intimidated or allowed themselves to be enticed by money so as to sell their votes.
“I hear that somebody is coming here with a bullion van. Do not sell your vote. Do not be intimidated, vote and let it be counted. Vote for continuity”, he said.
Okowa of Delta State commended the state governor for his zealousness in taking his campaigns round the 192 wards, a feat that has not been done in the country.
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Okowa said those who are calling him an outsider who is trying to dabble into Edo State politics should have a rethink because he is part and parcel of the state noting that his grandmother is from Igbanke while his wife’s father is also from Igbanke. “This is the first time a governor went round from ward-to-ward to campaign.
“As you vote, remain vigilant and shine your eyes. No one can cheat the majority. Edo will not be left out; all South-south states are PDP, so we don’t want anybody to cheat on us.”
Obi who is a former governor of Anambra state said voting Obaseki the second time will guarantee them a brighter future for them and for their unborn children.
National chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, said the European Union and other lovers of democracy all over the world must rise to see that the Edo State governorship election is free, fair and credible.
On his part, Obaseki said his campaigns round the 192 wards has opened his eyes to some of the challenges faced by most of the communities in the state adding that he would address the situation in his second tenure.
“I don’t have anything to say to you my Edo people but to thank you; you have been wonderful especially as we went through the 192 wards to seek your support for reelection.
“We will win this election because so far over 100 groups have endorsed me for the race. With groups like the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Trade Union Congress (TUC) Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) and other groups in the state behind me, tell me how we will lose the election?”
Obaseki continued: “Democracy is not a government of godfathers but a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In Edo we have been fighting godfatherism and by Saturday we will put an end to it, and after that go Lagos and put an end to godfatherism in Nigeria.