Edo PDP picks gov candidate today
Esele commends Obaseki as APC flag-bearer
All is set for a governorship candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State to emerge as the party holds its primaries today.
The aspirants are a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and an erstwhile chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and state lawmaker, Matthew Iduoriyekenmwen and businessman, Solomon Edebiri.
Besides, chieftains of the APC, Peter Esele and former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) have commended the Edo State and national leadership of the party on the successful gubernatorial primary election which was won by the chairman of the Edo State Economic Management Team, Godwin Obaseki.
He defeated 11 other contestants, including Esele to emerge winner of the primary election.
Announcing the result around 5:45 a.m. yesterday, the chairman of the election committee, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina said Obaseki polled 1,618 delegates votes to defeat the deputy governor, Peter Odubu who scored 471 votes; Kenneth Imansuagbon 247; former Minister of State for Works, Chris Ogiemwonyi 137; Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) 11; Blessing Agbonmeire five votes; Prof. Frederick Amadausn eight votes; Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula 10 votes; Esele eight; Austin Emuan four ;Prof. Osarheimen Osunbor nine and Mrs. Tina Agbarha, three votes.
Esele in a statement sent to delegates yesterday commended the exercise and urged his supporters to work for the success of the party in the election. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. This is also to give my support and good wishes for Mr. G. Noghaghase Obaseki on his victory as our party flag bearer. Let us all join hands to support him in the general election.”
The state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, on his part, described the exercise as credible and an entrenchment of the democratic principle of one man one vote.
“Having monitored and watched everything that has happened here, we are celebrating democracy.”
On the September 10 contest with PDP which holds its primaries today Oshiomhole said: “There is no PDP. Which of the factions are we going to face? You have one body, several heads. Even when they were potent, we defeated them so there is no cause for concern, we will go for the election, there are other parties in the state, PDP will not be an issue and I don’t think Edo people will forget the crime of PDP in a hurry not for the next 20 years in this state.”
In his acceptance speech, Obaseki said: “I am indeed humbled by this nomination and will like to state that this is our collective victory and thank you all. This is only the beginning.
“The challenge is for us to take the contest to the next level. As a party we must continue to work as a team to deliver victory at the September 10 governorship election. And let me assure you that we will win.”
State chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih told The Guardian yesterday that the party was set to get its best to stand before the APC and its candidate.
“PDP will today pick its candidate that will defeat Godwin Obaseki. We are very happy that adequate arrangements have been made. We are happy with the disciplined way our aspirants have been going about their campaigns and we have also instructed them not to give money to any delegate because we don’t want a repeat of the show of shame that happened in the APC where delegates were compromised with money.”
On the allegation in some quarters that the party leadership has agreed to impose a candidate, Orbih said: “No, No! there is nothing like that. I invite you to be at the venue of the election and see democracy in action.”
On its part, police sources confirmed to The Guardian that adequate security arrangement has been made to provide security for the delegates who are made of three from each ward across the 192 wards in the state and statutory delegates.
Ize-Iyamu, a major contender has never contested any election before but he has been involved in many elections and his side has always won.
He was instrumental to the emergence of Oshiomhole as governor in 2007 as he joined forces with some other politicians to achieve that goal after being shut out of the PDP and is believed to have the resources to facilitate his victory.
Edebiri was the candidate of the then All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP) in the last election. He won many hearts with the way he performed during debates organised for the candidates.
He led the Edo ANPP group into merger with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to form the APC. He joined the PDP in 2014 after complaining that the then new APC was dominated by only ACN elements.
A top PDP chieftain from Akoko-Edo Local Council , Oladele Bankole-Balogun told The Guardian yesterday that they “expect a peaceful exercise and that a popular candidate that would give APC a run for its money will emerge.”