Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said his re-election will pave way for regional cooperation, integration and consolidation in the South-South.
Obaseki who contested last Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State on the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP) was returned winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after securing the highest number of votes to beat his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Obaseki spoke in Asaba, Delta State where he paid a ‘thank-you’ to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who doubles as chairman of South-South Governors’ Forum.
He said the support of Governor Okowa and Deltans for his re-election had rekindled the spirit of the old Bendel.
“The amount of sacrifice you made for us in terms of time and the emotional energy that you put in the election is worthy of appreciation.
“We know that part of your ancestry is Edo, but you went beyond that by adopting two local government areas and supported them to victory.
“We express our gratitude and let you know that by your action you have rekindled the spirit of Bendel.
“When I came to visit you last year after your re-election, I had no idea that I will find myself in the same party with you, but here I am, and I am happy because it is good for our regional cooperation.
“As chairman of South-South Governors, you have provided strong leadership for the region and now that we have achieved political cooperation, we will now focus on the economic cooperation and development of the region.
“On behalf of all of us from Edo State, we thank you and let you know that we appreciate all you have done for us and it is our prayer that God will do for you more than you have done for us,” Obaseki told his Delta counterpart.
In his remarks, Okowa he was inspired to support Obaseki because of his humility and the fact that he was being oppressed.
“I want to congratulate you once again and I feel very excited that you won the election because somebody wanted to play the role of God and it ought not to be so.
“I believe God did this in your life because you have proven to be a very humble man and people who boast too much don’t usually end well.
“I thank all our party members and the Edo people for their resilience in ensuring your re-election.
“Now that we are all in the same political party, it makes it easier for us to relate with ourselves in this region,” he said.
Okowa also commended the Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, for his loyalty and dedication, describing him as a “supportive, humble and reliable partner. When you have such a humble and loyal deputy, governance becomes much easier.”
He advised Obaseki to show “lots of magnanimity and grace, but don’t allow the lions and the tigers to torment the people again.
“Your people are expecting a lot from you because of their huge support and I pray that God assist you with more funds to provide for the needs of the people.
“I am glad that the election was peaceful and the results were accepted, because even the opposition has congratulated you.
“This is the first time an opposition party is congratulating another party openly and we thank God for that.”