Edo 2016: My Victory, A Collective One—Obaseki | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Edo 2016: My Victory, A Collective One—Obaseki

APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Obaseki, Edo Indigenes
Posted: Jun 20, 2016 at 6:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…Afegbua Says PDP Expected Rancorous Primaries 


Temidayo Akinsuyi

Mr. Godwin Obaseki, winner of Saturday’s All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries in Edo, said his victory was a collective one for him, his co-contestants and the delegates.

In the result of the primaries announced in the early hours of Sunday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, venue of the exercise, Obaseki scored 1,618 votes to clinch victory.

He defeated 11 contestants, including his closest rival, Dr. Pius Odubu, the Deputy Governor of the state, who polled 471 votes.

Chris Ogiemwonyi, former minister of state for works, secured 137 votes; Ken Imasuagbon, had 247 votes; and Osariemen Osunbor, former governor of the state, got eight votes.

Ebegue Amadasu also polled eight votes; Charles Airhiabvere, a retired general, garnered 11 votes, Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula, 10 votes; Austin Emuan, seven votes; Blessing Agbomhere, fives votes, and the only female aspirant, Mrs. Tina Agbarha, got three votes. Forty-one votes were invalid. A total of 2582 delegates partook in the exercise.

The result was announced by Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, chairman of the committee charged with the conduct of the election.

In his acceptance speech after the announcement, Obaseki urged his co-contestants to work with him to achieve victory for APC in the September 10 governorship election in the state.

According to him, the primary election was only the first leg of other challenges ahead.

“The delegates were true heroes of democracy. They have shown that indeed, democracy has evolved and far more sophisticated than they have been given credit for.

“We have collectively decided who will fly the flag of our great party in Edo. My greatest encouragement in this race was my co-contestants, this array of accomplished individuals, including the deputy governor, Dr. Pius Odubu.

“I am indeed humbled by my nomination, but I will like to state that this is our collective victory.

“As a party, we must continue to work as a team to deliver victory at the September 10 governorship election. But, let me assure you that we will win,” he said.

The party’s nominee said that the state had commenced another journey into a brighter future, “a future which will define the state as a modern and progressive state where every citizen is provided with opportunity to live life to its fullness”.

He promised to build on the successes of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

In his remarks, Masari, who presented the Certificate of Return to Obaseki, urged those who participated in the primaries to regard themselves as winners and not losers.

He said that together the aspirants could and would make Edo and Nigeria better.

“For those who are not lucky to be the flag bearer this time around, they should get ready; four years in the life of a nation is so small, even in the life of an individual.

“In politics, we have to learn to accept defeat and prepare for the next election.

“May I appeal to the winner also to be magnanimous in victory because this is the first leg.

“The second and most important is the general election, where you need the support of not only the members of APC, but also other people of Edo State.

“For this reason, I call on you to extend the hands of fellowship to your fellow contestants.

“And, for the contestants, take solace that it is only God that decides and who chooses who to lead in a particular time,” Masari said.

He said that the committee adhered strictly to the rules and guideline provided by the party in the conduct of the primaries.

The APC primaries which started at about 9 a.m. with accreditation on Saturday came to a conclusion at about 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has commended all the aspirants and delegates for displaying a high sense of maturity before, during and after the primaries.

While commending the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; the chairman of the committee, Governor Aminu Masari and other chieftains of the party, Afegbua said the peaceful outcome of the exercise has put the opposition parties that were expecting a rowdy and rancorous primary to shame.

Afegbua, who added that only one winner can emerge in any election, urged the other aspirants to accept defeat in good faith and join hands with the party to achieve victory so that Obaseki can continue from where Oshiomhole stopped.

According to him, whatever horse-trading that has taken place before the primaries should be disregarded in the interest of the party.

“First, we ascribe all the glory to Almighty God for taking charge of the whole affairs. I also commend the Comrade Governor, the APC leadership in the state and all relevant stakeholders who all contributed immensely towards making the exercise a success”.

“I think our opponents wanted to see a rancorous and crisis-laden primary but we thank God that the aspirants and delegates displayed a high sense of civility, decorum and discipline before, during and after the primary exercise. It is understandable that in any electoral contest, only one man will win the election; and once the process is seen to be free, fair and transparent, they will naturally concur to the outcome of the exercise.

“Party primaries are essentially the business of political parties. So far, so good, there was a live coverage of the event. People could see how the whole process went. Whatever horse-trading that has taken place before the actual primaries, is legitimate in any political process”, he said.

He added that whoever becomes the flag bearer of the PDP will not be a match for Obaseki at the polls based on Oshiomhole’s superlative performance in the last eight years.

“As much as we will not underrate or undermine any political opponent, I strongly believe that any PDP candidate will not be an obstacle to us. Any candidate presented by the PDP will not be a formidable opponent because we have record of performance and achievements.

“Since government is a continuum, we will tell the people that they should look at where we were coming from, where we are today and where we are heading”, he said.