Edo State governor and standard flag bearer of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, has said his present deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, will be his running mate in the September 19 governorship election.
Obaseki said he and his deputy are grateful to the PDP for offering them the umbrella when the All Progressives Congress (APC) threw them in the rain and pledged to be a true party man.
He noted that the level of response to issues in the PDP drives processes fast and assured the national working committee of the PDP that he will work with them to lead Edo rightly.
According to Obaseki: “I want to commit to you that in line with the ideal and motto of this party, me and my deputy, by the grace of God, is going to be my running mate, for the September 19 election, because you do not change a winning team. I want to commit to you that we shall promote the ideals of this great party and you can always count on us.
“I and my deputy are very grateful to this great party. Like I said, you will never know what God has destined for you. In our hours of tribulation, when we were pushed out in the rains and storm from our political party, you came out with that huge umbrella to give us cover and shelter.
“It was only when we entered the house that we then realise that this was the house we should have been in the first instance. Because we now saw that the values in the house ate the values we cherish and the values we live for, values of justice, values of law and order, values of care for our people, putting the people first. These are the values we have always been in pursuit of, which we found in this new house in which we have been graciously accommodated.
“I must thank members of the National Working Committee, the quality of governance, the quality of response that I have witnessed, that have enabled us achieve much in less than one week because of the responsiveness of the national organising secretary. They followed up on every issue and every document. When issues came up, the National Legal adviser was there to respond to all our inquiries. The National Publicity Secretary checked on us every day.
“We want to tell you that we are very grateful and to assure you that the Edo people told us that ‘where every you go, we will go’. On further consultation they told us that there was a party where most of us came from, go and explore the possibility of us going back there. So by the grace of God, we have no doubt that victory is going to be ours on September 19.
“What all these occurrences in the last forthright tell me is that there is a hand of God that orders things.
“Whenever the National Working Committee calls on us, we will be there. We have no choice because from what I have seen from my brother governors in this party, what they have done and what they did for us in the party, revived my political career, I have never seen that level of commitment,” Obaseki stated.
Chairman of the Party Uche Secondus said Obaseki’s entry into the PDP and subsequent emergence as the candidate of the party was an act of God.
He said the PDP received him because he is a performing governor who enjoys the support of his Edo people.
“When God intervenes in any situation, no one can query God. It was not planned, this was an act of God. And from that day all the processes that needed to be followed were followed. Every body believed that it was a miracle and we are going to have a miracle governor who will win elections for us because you can see clearly the hand of God on this governor and his deputy.
“With what happened to them in their former party, they decided that it will not be a war. When you desire something that is good and you have the support of your people, war is no alternative. They abandoned war in their former party in pursuit of good governance, justice and equity and fair play. They came to our party and we received them because we believe that they have performed.
“We have listened to everyone in Edo and in Nigeria. What was the reason that they were badly treated? The reason was very flimsy. Did they not perform well? The entire country even those that were against them believe that they have performed. He has provided succour, infrastructure in all facets of economic development in Edo state.
“Just one person or two persons who probably change their minds that they no longer like their face, that’s not democracy, it is not an individual thing. We must put our personal issues behind the interest of the people first if not we will be guided by sentiments and that is what is destroying the other side.
“Your Excellency, in PDP we are guided by rule of law, we are guided by our rules and we are guided by the peoples’ interest. We are driven by the fact that we must provide the best governance for our people. Since you came in you can see that we are guided by process.
“In PDP, the institution here has a system that is transparent, free and fair for all to see and you have witnessed it since the last few weeks. God has been our guide here, we are a people, a party that fears God and we put the interest of our people first not our personal interest.”
The party had earlier received the report of Senator Bala Mohammed led Edo guber Primary Committee stating that Obaseki emerged through the process inspite of the fact that all other three aspirants stepped down in the last minute.