By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Governor of Edo State and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the September 19 gubernatorial election, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has identified lawlessness on the part of some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the reason why he dumped the ruling party.
Obaseki disclosed this Saturday in Benin, Edo state capital, during the flag-off of his campaign, which was monitored on the African Independent Television (AIT).
The Governor categorically declared that he would not return to the lawless ways of the APC, no matter the provocation.
Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu, it will be recalled, had in June, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he secured the party’s ticket to pursue his reelection.
While addressing a crowd of supporters at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium venue of the flag off of his campaign, the governor said, “We left them because of their lawlessness. We will not, no matter how provoked, resort to the same lawlessness.
“I want to thank you and assure you that God has given us the victory.
“Now that we have been given the official mandate, you will see what we will do.
Four years ago, I made a promise to you that we are going to transform Edo state, that Edo is the heartbeat of Nigeria, the transformation of Edo will lead to the transformation of Nigeria and by the grace of God, that is beginning to happen and it must happen in this election”, he said.
Speaking further, Governor Obaseki said, “this mandate that has been given to us is simple, what you are saying as a party is we like what you have done in the last four years, please go back and continue and improve on what you have done.
“In the last four years, we put our people first. Nothing else matters more than our people even though that put us in trouble, but we didn’t care because the voice of our people is the voice of God. “Because we were working for our people, God almighty has supported us. That is why we are here today because what has happened to us in the politics of this country can best be described as miraculous.
“We stood up, courageous, believing in God and believing in our people, believing in ourselves and we fought and God searched our hearts and saw that all we were doing was for Him and the people of Edo, he stood by us.
“I want to assure you that in the coming days, we are going to unveil our programme, and our programme is titled: Make Edo Great Again (MEGA).
“Our message is one of hope and one for the future. In Edo, we are one people, we have one dream and we have one purpose.
“The programme which we have adopted will focus on how to improve governance, how do we use government to support our people, how do we use government to create an enabling business environment so that you can do your business unharassed by any set of people particularly thugs.
“How can we use government to transform your lives? The government belongs to you, not to a few people.
“So in the next four years, we are going to be a reworking government. We are going to be introducing a lot of technology.
“We are going to make sure that the programmes we have stared particularly agriculture, youth empowerment, we are going to insist that we continue on that path.
“Edo will be a business and economic hub for this country. We will be because we believe that God has given us everything to become the greatest state in this country.
“I want to assure you that you have me and my deputy, two people, we have prepared to put in their lives for you.
“We are not afraid and we can never be afraid because God is with us. You are the only one that matter because God has given us responsibility for you and we will not shy away from that responsibility”, he assured.
Also speaking at the event, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike assured Edo people that any plan by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the September 19 governorship election in the state will fail.
Wike, who is the Chairman of the National Campaign Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Edo election, urged the people to borrow a leaf from the people of Rivers State in 2019 and defend their votes.
The governor said APC has no candidate in the election, adding,. “Nobody should be afraid, nobody can rig this election”.