Thursday, January 14, 2016 10:34 pm
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has declared that he will not remain neutral on who becomes the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2016 governorship election.
Oshiomhole said this on Thursday in Benin at a meeting of the leadership of the APC from the three senatorial districts of the state, in apparently reaction to the widespread opposition that greeted his alleged preference for Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as his successor.
The governor argued: “What I believe I owe my party is to explain to them the qualities of the governor we require. I believe we need someone who believes in our state, who believes that Edo state deserves to continue to prosper. I believe we need a governor who will see the three senatorial districts as his constituency, regardless of the senatorial district he comes from. I believe we need a governor who has capacity at this time to see beyond going to Abuja for allocation because there is not much available in Abuja now.
“In this hall, about not less than 70 per cent of you either individually or small groups, have come to ask me, ‘Comrade where do we go.’ But I told them it is too early. But let me ask, if any one of us has a right to have a say, should I as a governor have no such right to have a voice and a say on the choice of my successor? There will be party primaries according to our constitution, no question about that.
“But Comrades, as governor of this state, who has gone through a lot in the course of governance, let me say clearly that I cannot be neutral in matters affecting my environment. Even people who are not from Edo state will always tell me to guide them so that Edo will not go back to the past, I will never be afraid to take a position and to explain my position on the basis of my conviction. In a democracy whether matured or growing, endorsement is legitimate. What I owe Edo people is very clear to me.
“I have heard several things about my person. Some said ‘he has anointed one of the candidates.’ Some now call me godfather. There is no question that the governorship candidate of this party, will be produced through primaries. The last election: House of Assembly, National Assembly and Presidential elections; we held primaries.
“So, when people make those statement, I just laugh. This governor has no powers to impose anybody on our party and certainly anybody on our state. I am proud to say that we have more than sixty political parties. Why is it that everybody wants to run on APC platform? Why not Labour party or PDP? It is on the strength of the performance of the government that I am privileged to head.
“It is the collective achievement of all of us as reflected in what we have delivered to the people of Edo state as a government that makes our party attractive today. But I like us to reflect on this: Even some of those who have written that Oshiomhole wants to impose a candidate, when I look at them and reflect how they left their party to our party and became candidates, and we appeal to our leaders to support them, I wonder how they describe that process that produced them. The world is a circle,” Oshiomhole stated.