Party leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state across the 18 local governments have unanimously adopted incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, to be the party’s flagbearer during the 2020 gubernatorial elections in the state.
The leaders adopted the governor during an enlarged meeting with the governor at Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
A chieftain of the APC from Edo South Senatorial District, Rev. Michael Agharevba, moved the motion for the endorsement and adoption of the governor for a second term, commending Governor Obaseki on his achievements as governor in the past three years.
Stating that the governor has transformed all sectors of the state within a short time, he said, “We are solidly behind the governor and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu for a second term. This is the first time somebody is speaking to our hearts and it is evident in the physical structures he is building across the state.”
Also speaking, former Chief Whip in the Edo State House of Assembly and a leader of the APC in Edo North, Hon Shaibu Abdullahi, seconded the motion for the adoption of Governor Obaseki as the APC flagbearer in the 2020 governorship election.
On her part, a former council chairman and chieftain of the APC in Edo Central, Mrs. Stella Okoro, said the women of the state have unanimously agreed to adopt the governor and support his bid for a second term.
She said: “When a woman carries you on her back, you are protected. We are happy for all the governor is doing. We are carrying him on our back as a sign of our support for his administration.”
Earlier, Edo State Chairman of the APC, Barr Anselm Ojezua, echoed the party leaders’ support for Governor Obaseki’s second term bid.
He said the APC in Edo State has been active and remains strong as ever before.
“We will take those steps that will protect the integrity of the APC. Once we are done sanitising our party system, we will be better and stronger,” he said.
He explained that APC prohibits the formation of parallel movements within the party structure, stressing that the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM) cannot be an organ of the party.
Speaking, APC Chieftain, Charles Idahosa, urged the party leaders to intensify work at the ward level to defeat the common enemy against the Governor Obaseki-led government.
He said: “We have a problem and we need to go back to our respective wards to put things in order. There is a big fight, and it is a win for us. We know our enemy and we must defeat him.”
The governor presented the scorecard of his administration in the past three years to the party leaders, hailing them for their sacrifice and faith in his administration, with a promise to do more in delivering the dividends of democracy to Edo people.
He said his administration has engendered good governance through policies and programmes targeted at eradicating poverty and creating jobs in the last three years, assuring to consolidate on his achievements in the next one year.
He said: “When we came onboard three years ago, 15 out of 18 LGAs were not able to pay salaries and we met huge pension arrears burden, but with your support, we have made a lot of progress.
“For revenue generation, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Oredo LGA rose from N1.5 million monthly in December 2016 to N62 million in October, 2019. We are emphasising people-oriented projects because the APC’s principle is focused on people’s development.”
He said his administration has created about 107,000 direct and indirect jobs in the last three years, noting, “We have been getting a lot of support from Diaspora in this regard.”
He urged citizens to expect more developments in the next year especially in the area of agriculture, infrastructure, job creation and social welfare.
The governor reiterated that members of the APC working against the interest of the party would be driven out, adding, “Nobody must feel that they are bigger than the party.”