Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed gratitude to his counterpart in Bayelsa State, Douye Diri and the people of the state for their support which made his re-election possible in last Saturday’s governorship election. Obaseki, who said that he remained grateful to Governor Diri, described his victory in the election “as a unifying factor for the South-South geopolitical zone of the country.
Governor Obaseki, who spoke in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday night at a state dinner organised in his honour, however, noted that the victory which has brought all the states in the South- South geo-political zone under one party, would go a long way to foster rapid socio-economic development in the region. Daniel Alabrah, the Media Aide to Governor Diri, in a statement, quoted governor Obaseki as commending President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring a level playing field in the poll and expressed optimism that the outcome would rub off positively on future elections in the country, as well as allow the will of the people to prevail at all times.
He said: “We drove here tonight from Asaba as part of our tour to come and say thank you. To come and appreciate His Excellency, Governor Diri and the people of Bayelsa State for what you have done for us; for the contributions you made to ensure that we emerged victorious in last Saturday’s election. We did not want to keep it late just to let you know how truly grateful we are.
“This victory is what we call unity victory. It has united us in Edo State as one people. It has united us in Bendel as one sub-region and it is uniting us in the South-South as one region. As a region, we have all it takes to be greater than many countries in Africa, but the starting point is cooperation.” Also, Obaseki has described the consolation he got from the Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers as one of the pivots for his electoral victory in the Edo governorship poll.
Obaseki made the remarks on Wednesday in Port Harcourt when he led some political leaders of the state on a thank you visit to Governor Wike at the Rivers Government House. He said: “After I was pushed out of my former Party, this house wasthe first place I sought solace. You took me in as a brother, outof thestorm, changedmy clothes and gave me food to eat. “It was in this house, the Campaign Council met to work out the key strategies that led us to victory. In his response, Wike said his support was informed by the fact that Gov. Obaseki was courageous and fearless. According to him, standing against forces of godfatherism is not easy, but Obaseki made himself available to protect the interest of the Edo people. “Our work would have been difficult if he did not make himself available.
I cannot support a lily-hearted person. Gov. Obaseki was firm. “It is not easy to fight godfatherism. But he has the interest of Edo people at heart. Together, we have conquered,’’ he said. Earlier, Governor Diri described Obaseki’s re-election as a triumph for democracy in Nigeria, saying it was a litmus test that the country passed creditably. He, however, noted that the victory of Edo State Governor was significant to the people of the state as it proved that power comes only from God and not man.
Diri said: “My brother governor was disqualified by his former party, which claimed he did not have a certificate. The irony was so strong that those of us watching from the sides were asking if the party was serious that a sitting governor does not have the qualification to contest an election or that it was going to go like what happened in Lagos.”