The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has presented his nomination form, seeking re-election on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor stormed the presidential villa, Abuja, on Monday, to see the president, brushing aside the controversy generated by his clash with his predecessor and National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
He told State House correspondents after the meeting that even though President Buhari is a father to all, it will be wrong to assume or take things for granted.
The visit came ahead of the governorship primary election of the APC scheduled for this month.
Oshiomhole is thought to favour former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for the APC ticket.
Obaseki said: “Well I came to see the President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as Governor of Edo State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election. Even though President Buhari is a father of our nation, it will be wrong to just assume or take things for granted so I have to formally inform him of my intention to re-contest and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid.”
On his performance as the incumbent governor, he gave himself a pass mark as he affirmed that has some well for Edo people.
The governor stated: “Well I believe having been governor of the state for three years and the jury is out, you can check with Edo people, whether as governor I have served creditably well.
“The consensus is that we have done well as a government and that people will like us to continue with the laudable programmes and policies which we have undertaken under the last three years.
“If you recall when I got into power as a governor, one thing Edo was known for was human trafficking. We had over 30,000 of our citizens, who were in Libya, waiting to crossover to Europe. Today, in less than three years, we have stopped it.
“We are celebrated globally, across the continent in terms of the reforms we have undertaken in basic education in this country. Those children, I can’t abandon them; we can’t stop what we have achieved to date.
“So, based on that, we believe that because of the connection which we have created with our people, we have no doubt in our minds that we will win any election, direct or indirect elections in Edo State.”
Governor Obaseki regretted the crisis in the ruling party in the state, which has factionalized it into his camp and that of Oshiomhole, noting that it is being engineered from puts Edo.
The governor explained: “It is unfortunate that he is taking the position he has taken; I believe that he was not properly guided. I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens.
“I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward. The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people.
“I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do.”
He expressed confidence that he has the full support of his counterparts, governors elected under the platform of the APC, in line with the principles of the party, which always supports continuity.
On the effort at the containment of COVID-19 in Edo State, Governor Obaseki said over 300,000 Edo indigenes have been screen for COVID-19 out of the 500,000-target set by the state government.
He also bowed to ensure that the killers of the 100-level student of the University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa, raped to death recently, are tracked and brought to justice.