By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Former Governor of Bayelsa and current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, yesterday warned the incumbent Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki, that money and power of incumbency will not save him from being defeated in the September 19 governorship election slated for the state.
Sylva stated this when he briefed journalists at the APC national headquarters in Abuja after an inaugural meeting of the Contact and Mobilisation Sub-committee of the party’s National Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election.
Recall that the chairman of the caretaker Committee/Emergency Extraordinary Convention Committee of the party, Mai Mala Buni, who is the Governor of Yobe state, had few weeks ago constituted a National Campaign Council led by the Governor of Kano state, Umar Ganduje, to oversee the mobilisation of human and material resources to ensure that APC wins Edo governorship election.
The meeting which held between members of the Campaign sub Committee, considered list of individuals, groups and associations for the campaign council to meet and contact in Edo state.
The sub-committee also proposed the date of visit to Edo state and duration of stay, just as it equally considered the proposed budget for the campaign, a source in the party told Peoples Daily.
Fielding questions from journalists at the party Secretariat, Sylva said the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) stole its mandate in Edo, just like in Bayelsa, saying this has made the incumbency factor to have some shortcomings.
According to him, despite the defection of Obaseki from APC to PDP, Edo still remains a stronghold of APC, saying “I want to assure you that we are in touch with our people in Edo state and we know that we are the dominant party in Edo state and we are going to win this election.”
The former Governor said every South South APC member is of the consensus that they must reclaim Edo, saying “All of us in the South South believe that this election must be won. Edo state is our only APC state in the South South.
“A few months ago, as you are all aware, they took Bayelsa State from us through the back door after we won the election and now through the back door again, they have taken Edo state, but luckily we have the opportunity of reclaiming Edo state in a few weeks from now and every south south APC member is of the consensus that we must reclaim Edo.
“It is our stronghold in the region and therefore we are all geared up, we will all go to Edo state. We want to assure you that you should not entertain any doubt that Edo state will be an APC state very soon come the election in September.
“Election is not all about finance. First, if you say the power of incumbency, it is an APC incumbency that has been stolen by the PDP. So, that kind of incumbency has comma and that is why we believe that such incumbency will not work. The Edo people know that Edo state is for APC”, he said.