By Monday EBALU, Benin City
Godwin Obaseki the chairman Edo state Economic Committee,an aspirant on the platform of the All Progressive Congress Party, (APC) recently declared his intention to contest the governorship race to Osadebay Avenue come September 10, 2016.
Declaring at Urokpota hall at the Oba Overamen square with thousands of his supporters, he said, as many of you know, this event was initially scheduled to take place on the 29th of April2016. However in light of the transition of our most revered monarch – His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, Oba of Benin, we decided to suspend all campaign activities in honour of our great royal father.
As a mark of honour to His Royal Majesty, who meant and did so much for us in preserving our tradition, history and our respectability in Nigeria, may we rise and observe a moment of silence?
Obaseki continued by saying, “My name is Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki. As I look at every one of you today, I see many faces of friends, family, professional colleagues some of whom I grew up with. This setting brings back fond memories of my childhood going between my paternal grand-father’s house (Chief Gaius Obaseki) on Idahosa street and my maternal grandfather’s house (Pa Elisha Gbinigie) at Owina street, Ogbelaka quarters.
I vividly recall visiting this very Urhokpota Hall on an excursion from Eghosa Anglican Grammer School when we came to see the Edo Master plan designed by the administration of Samuel Igbemudia in the early 70’s. That was the era I grew up in; an era that provided leadership, vision and hope for our people.
For so long, professionals of Edo State origin in different parts of Nigeria and elsewhere in the World, were reduced to helpless critics because of lack of development occasioned by bad and irresponsible governments at home.
The resources and opportunities squandered in the first eight to ten years of the on-going democratic experiment were so inexcusable that members of Edo Unions and Associations in Lagos and abroad began to feel challenged to contribute their expertise directly to the process of governance.
Thus, the opportunity came for me to offer service to my State and my people when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, upon successful completion of his tenure as NLC President, decided to contest the governorship election in 2006. Since 2006, from the background, I have supported the renewed efforts to rebuild and reconstruct our Edo State, which was vandalized and almost dislocated by previous administrations.
By the Grace of God, I have held the invisible and hitherto, little known position of the Chairman of the Economic and Strategy Team of Edo State Government for the past seven years and half years supporting the effective leadership of the Comrade Governor of Edo
State, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. This is a position I have held without salary or compensation.
He said, “This role has allowed me to understand the challenges facing Edo State and it has also given me the opportunity to serve and contribute to the development of our beloved State.
As many of you would recall, the Administration of Comrade Oshiomhole inherited a State which had been made comatose by a decade of mismanagement, bad policies, failed promises, ruined infrastructure and hopelessness.
The good news is that what has been achieved by the present administration is the result of painstaking planning done by my Team. We have a design and template for Edo State beyond the life of the current administration.
According to him; “In the face of this challenge, we need leadership with fresh and original ideas to take on these new challenges so that we can build on and deepen the successes of the current administration.” There is only one course of action- we must be courageous and determined, we must build on and extend the successes of the current administration to achieve the aspirations of Edo State.
“I stand before you today on the shoulder of the success of the Comrade Governor. Over the last 7.5 years we have transformed Edo State and achieved what was said to be impossible, however the Edo Project is still a work in progress and we are at the most delicate part of this journey.
“It will be a huge risk for all of us if we revert political power to those who lack deep understanding of how to link the achievements of the last 7 years with the current situation in Nigeria . What Edo State needs today is someone who has the capacity to raise and access the investments required to build on the past in order to realize the vision.
“I am very proud and happy that I have been an integral part of the success and challenges of the last 7 years. The knowledge I have garnered in the last 7.5yrs puts me in a unique position to understand what is required to take Edo State to the next level. After 7.5years in the policy cockpit of Edo State, I believe I can fly Edo State higher What Edo needs today is a leader who in addition to political sagacity, has the managerial and intellectual experience to manage the State of Affairs in the difficult and precarious situation we find ourselves.
“It would be a sin against God and my people to walk away from Edo State with all the knowledge and understanding I have gathered over the last 7.5yrs. It would be unpatriotic not to stand up to be counted because as the saying goes.
“When the going gets tough, only the tough get going”, he added.
“After over 30 years of successful experience in the Private Sector, over 7 years working in the most successful administration Edo State in recent time; with a childhood forged in the warmth, rich and enduring culture of Edo, with education obtained at home and abroad and with the blessings of God; I would like to put all of these attributes and resources at the disposal to serve my people in Edo State.
“I have consulted extensively with elder statesmen, professional colleagues, my colleagues in Government across board, family and friends, political acquaintances in our great party and delegates in our 192 wards.
“I therefore formally announce that I will be seeking the ticket of the All People’s Congress (APC) during the Party Nomination Congress to fly the flag of APC come September 10, 2016 with a pledge to build an Edo State that has a strong and resilient economy; to provide jobs for our teeming youth and fulfill our social aspirations as a people.
I will continue the infrastructure revolution and expand the urban renewal and housing efforts. I will develop world class human resources by improving our educational institutions and make Edo a hub for healthcare in Nigeria”, he further stated.
There will be empowerment for our women, happy retirement days for Pensioners, access to capital for our farmers, improved conditions of service for the Civil Service, modern markets for our traders, skills development for our artisans, finance for small and medium scale businesses and deeper involvement of the Traditional Institutions in our collective development agenda.
As Power, Housing, agriculture and agro processing; mining and extractive industries including petrochemicals; and information technology will form the bedrock on which Edo State would grow its economy and generate jobs and industries.
“I am blessed to have to lead my campaign a man who I have a lot of respect for and somebody who I have worked with on the Edo project in the last 8yrs. Barrister Osarodion Oggie – a fine gentleman, an uncommon political strategist and a dedicated party member and team player has accepted to serve as the Director General of the Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organization. He will be ably assisted by Mr. John Aiyevbekpen Osakue – a man with longstanding political credentials”.
Responding to the declaration, Barrister Osarodion Ogie said, “You cannot build your house and abandon it for a tenant to take over. People are shouting continuity what are you going to continue, it is Oshiomhole’s work. Who is the best person to do the work, Obaseki. The game just started, we will not abuse anybody but anybody that abuses us, we will reply. I speak for Oshiomhole political families we have endorse Obaseki.”
By Monday EBALU, Benin City