How Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has been handling national and state issues has attracted the admiration of the ancient Benin throne.
The revered Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba Akpolokpolo Ewuare II says Governor Wike’s leadership style is purposeful.
Oba Ewuare II was speaking when Wike who is also the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council for the 2020 Edo State Governorship Election, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate paid him a courtesy call at his Palace in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Also with Wike there were Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, his Delta State counterpart, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and other members of the PDP National Campaign Council.
During a flag-off of the party’s campaign for the September 19, 2020, Edo Governorship Election at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Saturday, Governor Wike declared that the South-South geopolitical zone completely belongs to the PDP.
The peoples of the geopolitical bloc, according to him, will not allow any other political party to have a foothold in the area any more, adding that godfatherism is over in Edo.
“The people of Edo must reject godfatherism because nobody can rig the September 19 governorship election in the state. Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), 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 that they should not be afraid because nobody can rig the forthcoming election. Today is the end of godfatherism in Edo. I want to thank Governor Obaseki for refusing to dance to the tune of godfatherism.”
“Four years ago, 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”, Wike said.
The Rivers governor then assured the electorate that as the Chair of the PDP National Campaign Council for Edo Governorship Election, he will be in the state during the election to ensure that the state is returned to PDP.
While noting the outstanding performance of the re-election seeking Governor Obaseki in the last four years in the development of the state, Governor Wike urged the people of Edo to come out en masse and vote for the PDP candidate during the election.
“Governor Obaseki has done well in the last four years. You should not allow anybody to deceive you again. APC has no candidate. The only person who thinks that the party is running an election is Oshiomhole”, he adds.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Tambuwal described Edo as strategic to the nation and called on Edo people to always remain steadfast and resolute.
Tambuwal who took a swipe at Oshiomhole for condemning godfatherism and turning back to practice it, urged Governor Obaseki to hold onto God and the people of Edo to defeat the enemies of the state as he did in Sokoto.
He also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, to build on the legacies of his predecessor, Prof. Attahiru Jega who ensured that free and fair election was conducted in Edo which enabled Oshiomhole to govern for eight years.
Governor Tambuwal also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that his anti corruption crusade also affects the forthcoming Edo governorship election in order to ensure peace and stability in the state.
Presenting the PDP flag to its Governorship candidate, the National Chairman, Uche Secondus described Obaseki as an accomplished gentleman and performer, noting that the party is proud of PDP Governors in view of their high standing performance in governance, said they are the reason democracy is thriving in the country.
While Secondus stated that Nigeria is at a crossroad and appealed to President Buhari to ensure that free and fair elections hold in the country, Governor Obaseki, however, responded by saying that the mandate given to him marked the transformation of the state and Nigeria.
He promised to sustain the tempo of his developmental strides in his second tenure.
The flag off was also attended by the Governors Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, and Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi.
However, the Benin monarch noted that he has keenly watched the activities of Governor Wike on national television over the years with admiration.
He particularly commended Governor Wike for rescuing the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh from the hands of armed policemen.
He recalled his visit to Rivers aimed at strengthening ties between the people of the two states and also lauded him for the hospitality accorded him and his entourage.
The Oba of Benin noted that Governor Wike’s patriotism led him to appeal to him to intervene and resolve the political feud between Governor Obaseki and his predecessor, Oshiomhole.
He restated the apolitical position of the Benin Traditional stool and assured of his prayers for peaceful campaigns as well as the stability of the state and nation.
Earlier, Wike said the visit was to seek the Oba’s royal blessing for the commencement of the party’s campaign in his kingdom, noting the revered tradition of the ancient Benin Kingdom, assured the monarch of his continued respect for the traditional institution.
He promised to return to the place on a thank you visit after the victory of the party at the September 19, 2020 governorship election.