Cajetan Mmuta, Benin
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Goodwin Obaseki said Friday that he nearly quit the governorship race under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for a second term in office at the Dennis Osadebay Avenue Government House, Benin the state capital.
Obaseki stated this in his acceptance speech shortly after he was declared winner of the PDP governorship primaries, which held at the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.
Chairman of the 2020 PDP Governorship Primaries Election Committee and Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Muhammed, who declared results of exercise at about 12:12am Friday said Governor Godwin Obaseki polled a total of 1, 952 votes to emerge the sole candidate of the party for the forthcoming September 19 governorship election in the state.
According to Senator Bala, a breakdown of the votes cast include, 71 invalid votes, 2, 234 as total number of delegates, 2, 202 as total number of accredited delegates while 2, 020 was the actual number of delegates that voted during the primaries election.
At the venue of the exercise monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), three of the governorship aspirants; Messrs Kenneth Imasuagbon, Engr. Gideon Ikhine and Hon. Omoregie Ogbide Ihama had announced their decisions to step down for Governor Obaseki for defeating the godfathers and for the landmark achievements witnessed across the state.
Obaseki had cast his vote at 9:06pm on Thursday.
The governor said history has once again been re-enacted in Nigeria and that his victory at the primaries has afforded him the opportunity to consolidate on his past achievements in the state.
“Today like I said, history is being made in Nigeria. The victory we are celebrating today has been a long and strenuous walk to political freedom which as from today, in my election as the flag bearer of our great party. By the grace of God, I will be governor again for another four years,” he said.
He stated that: “Much has been entrusted on me by the representatives of our great party and this responsibility will enable me to consolidate on our achievements we have made. It will enable me to deepen good governance in Edo State, it will help us to restore the pride of Edo people and make Edo State one of the best states in Nigeria.
“Today marks an electrifying moment in the political history of our state and indeed our country.”
Obaseki disclosed that he nearly quit his governorship ambition to contest for a second time but for the support and encouragements from his friends, his colleagues as governors and family which have kept him going.
“With today’s election, we have demonstrated again that no mountain is too high to stop the aspiration of a people that have put their faith in God and that is called by God to make life better for the greater majority of her people.
“I must admit that there was a time in this struggle when as a mere mortal, I was almost tempted to quit but I thank God for my family, friends, my colleagues’ governors, my brothers, of course,” he explained.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank the Chairman of the PDP Governor’s Forum, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa, Governor of Sokoto State and other colleagues, particularly, Governor Wike of Rivers State and others who have encouraged me to move on.
“My desire to improve the quality of lives of Edo people has been my daily driving force and also my greatest incentives,” he said.
Obaseki promised to be magnanimous in victory but would always remember that PDP as a party provided him with shelter when he was being beaten by rain.
“I want to thank those who are leaders of our great party who have provided us that shelter under that large umbrella in the sun when we were pushed out by the broom. We are actually grateful to those who emphatically told me Governor Goodwin Obaseki anywhere you go, we will follow. That was an encouragement,” he said.