Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, said on Saturday that godfatherism was dead in Edo State. They added that Governor Godwin Obaseki would be re-elected to govern the state.
The trio who were referring to Obaseki’s predecessor and former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, spoke at the inauguration of Obaseki re-election campaign held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State.
Wike said the South-South region belongs to the PDP as he noted that nobody would be allowed to rig the September 19 governorship poll in the state.
According to him, the people of the region will not allow any other political party to have a foothold in the area anymore.
Wike, who is Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for Edo State Governorship Election, said Edo people must reject godfatherism, and that nobody would rig the election.
He said, “Former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, is making a U-turn to lick his vomit by presenting a candidate he earlier rejected and castigated. Today, we are here to tell the people of Edo State that they should not be afraid because nobody can rig the forthcoming election.
“Today is the end of godfatherism in Edo State. I want to thank Governor Godwin Obaseki for refusing to dance to the tune of godfatherism.
“Four years ago, Adams Oshiomhole said he cannot trust the APC governorship candidate that he was rusticated from school.
“Today, Oshiomhole is coming back to present the same person to Edo people. He thinks Edo people are fools. I challenge Edo people not to vote any person presented to them by Oshiomhole.”
While applauding Obaseki for his performance in the last four years, he added, “As the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council, I will be in Edo State, we will make sure that everything needed is done to return our PDP.
“Governor Obaseki has done well in the last four years. You should not allow anybody to deceive you again.”
Also speaking, Tambuwal took a swipe at Oshiomhole for attempting to practice the godfatherism he once rejected. He, however, urged Obaseki to hold on to God and the people to defeat the enemies of the state as he did in his own state, Sokoto.
“He (Oshiomhole) was all over the place in the past, condemning godfatherism, but now wants to become a godfather in Edo,” Tambuwal said.
He called on the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, to build on the legacies of his predecessor, Prof Attahiru Jega, who, according to him, ensured that free and fair election was conducted in the state, enabling Oshiomhole to govern the state for eight years.
Presenting the PDP flag to Obaseki as the party’s candidate, Secondus described the governor as a gentleman and performer.
Secondus, who noted that the party was proud of the performances of governors on its platform, said godfatherism would not be allowed in the state.
He appealed to the President to ensure free and fair elections.
Responding, Obaseki promised to sustain good governance in the state.
The inauguration was also attended by the governors of Bayelsa, Douye Diri; Oyo, Seyi Makinde; Bauchi, Senator Bala Mohammed; Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa; and the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi.
APC, PDP supporters clash as Obaseki begins campaign
Meanwhile, there was unrest in Benin on Saturday at King Square, known as Ring Road, following a clash between APC and PDP supporters prior to the inauguration of Obaseki’s campaign.
Supporters of the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and those of the PDP engaged in a shoot-out around the palace of the Oba of Benin.
After the governor’s exit from the palace, Ize-Iyamu and his entourage also visited the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II. However, in what appeared to be a reprisal, the PDP youths who were initially at the stadium made their way to the Oba’s palace, where they engaged the APC supporters in a free-for-all.
Supporters from both parties sustained varying degrees of injuries, while some vehicles were vandalised during the fracas.
It took the timely intervention of security agencies at the palace and other policemen attached to the VIPs to halt the violence.
It was learnt that no fewer than five persons were injured.
Edo govt, Ize-Iyamu trade blames over fracas
Meanwhile, the state government and the campaign council of the APC traded blames over the fracas.
Obaseki’s media aide, Mr Crusoe Osagie, in a statement alleged that the thugs were sponsored by the APC, its candidate and Oshiomhole, while chairman of the Media Campaign Council of the APC, Mr John Mayaki, accused Obaseki and the PDP of unleashing violence on the people