Tony Osauzo, Benin
Ahead of the Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries, some leaders of the party have called for the election of an aspirant with a track record of integrity, compassion, and empathy for the common man to be nominated as the next governor of the state.
Former state publicity secretary of the party Godwin Erahon urged the party faithful to elect an aspirant with high integrity that can unite the party for the progress and development of the state.
Speaking in Benin City, Erhahon observed that the four frontline governorship aspirants seeking to unseat governor Godwin Obaseki are eminently qualified to even aspire to the highest political office in the country, but warned that the APC must not make the mistake to hand the party’s governorship ticket to an aspirant that belongs to a diabolical or cult group.
He listed the frontline governorship aspirants of the party as Engineer Chris Ogiemwonyi, Dr Pius Odubu, Gen Charles Airhiavhere, (retd) and Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu.
“Well, I am happy the people are gradually forgetting the incumbent governor. Obaseki attempted to be such a fast player that he scaled the goal post,” Erhahon said.
“We have four viable governorship aspirants of which are former deputy governor, Pius Odubu, Gen Charles Airhiavhere, Engineer Chris Ogiemwonyi and Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu.
“Incidentally, they are all my friends and I will tell you that all of them are well qualified to be president of this country. As a leader of the party, my role is to see how we can broker a consensus among the four so that we can produce one of them.
“All the aspirants are good. Imagine an aspirant like Chris Ogiemwonyi, as a guru from the oil industry, he has affected the lives of so many people positively, he has shown that he is a patriot.
“I believe that God will lead us to choose the best among the four and also pray God to grant all the other aspirants maturity and Godliness to learn to give up for another because if all of them go the way we went in 2016, we may see smear campaign against one another.
“For the quality of the various aspirants, it is sad that this present administration has so divided the party and he has ruled with so much acrimony, hatred and bickering such that the party is divided,” the state party spokesman said.
On his part, former adviser to late Gen Samuel Ogbemudia on Project Implementation, Hon Emma Gold-Idehen, said:
”Another key factor in determining who gets the ticket again is compassion; you can have integrity but no compassion. You can be a productive person on earth but when you seek public elective positions you need to have compassion and empathize, hear, smell and touch. If you cannot do that, you don’t have business being in public office because at the end of it all if you cannot combine them and put smiles on people faces you have failed.
“So, Ogiemwonyi’s mission is to uplift the living standard of the people because this is something he has done in the past.
“He said people call him ‘Mr Integrity’ ‘Mr local content’, but he is more interested in how to impact on the lives of the people and this is in consonance with what he has done in the past and that is why he is seeking to serve as governor.
“As somebody in the middle management level at NNPC, he saw the level of poverty in his community where he grew up. He was propelled to build boreholes in all the communities, having encountered a village girl that was blind owing to bad water; he built a skills acquisition centre, church, provided generating sets all from his personal pocket,” Idehen disclosed.