Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has hit back at the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, saying the people of the state do not yield their will and power of choice to oppressive figures like the APC chieftain.
Tinubu had in a sponsored video broadcast on TVC News on Tuesday appealed to electorates in Edo to reject the governor, who’s also the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
While describing Obaseki as undemocratic, the former governor of Lagos accused him of preventing the inauguration of elected legislators in the state.
Responding through his Special Adviser on Media, Crusoe Osagie, in a statement on Tuesday, Obaseki said Edo voters are determined to end godfatherism in the state.
He noted that voters in the state have the capacity to determine their destiny as a people.
“Our attention has been drawn to a television broadcast in which a former Lagos State Governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his quest to extend his political dominance and empire to Edo State, decided to take over the role of Edo people to choose through the ballot who to govern them for the next four years,” the governor said.
“It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in South Western Nigeria, hence this desperate, last ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.
“Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo State, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast.
“He should take note that Edo people do not yield their will, liberty and power of choice to oppressive figures because they are perceived to have economic and political means. Like one of the great sons of Edo, former Governor and former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, recently said, our people do not give in to ‘primitive loyalties.’ We always chase noble causes and a little study of our history, should show Tinubu the indomitable spirit of the Edo person.
“Edo stands in the heart of the old Midwestern Region, which was the only region created through plebiscite, which underscores our capacity to determine our destiny as a people. The blood which ran in the veins of the leaders of that time is still the same that runs in the vein of the leaders of Edo State today.”
Obaseki, therefore, urged voters in the state to disregard the APC chieftain’s comment and cast their vote for him.
Recall that Obaseki was spotted at Tinubu’s residence with some governors few days to the Edo APC governorship primaries wherein he pleaded with the former Lagos governor to prevail on the then National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, to adopt the indirect primary election.
The APC chieftain rejected the appeal, asking the governor to go test his popularity in the direct primary election. He described this mode of primary election as more democratic.
Obaseki was later disqualified from participating in the primaries over discrepancies in his educational certificates.
He thereafter left the APC for the PDP where he was granted the ticket to run for re-election.
The governor; candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; and 12 others will slug it out in the September 19, 2020, governorship election in Edo.