Governor Godwin Obaseki Monday presented to President Muhammadu Buhari his expression of interest and nomination forms for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the state.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with the president, the governor said he was at the Presidential Villa to formally inform the of his desire to seek re-election as governor of Edo state.
“I came to see the President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as Governor of Edo State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“Even though President Buhari is a father of our nation, it will be wrong to just assume or take things for granted so I have to formally inform him of my intention to re-contest and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid,” he said.
The governor said he has done well for the people of Edo state and deserves another four-year term.
“I believe having been Governor of the State for three years and the jury is out, you can check with Edo people, whether as Governor I have served creditably well. The consensus is that we have done well as a government and that people will like us to continue with the laudable programmes and polices which we have undertaken under the last three years.
“If you recall when I got into power as a Governor, one thing Edo was known for was human trafficking. We had over 30,000 of our citizens, who were in Libya, waiting to crossover to Europe. Today, in less than three years, we have stopped it.
“We are celebrated globally, across the continent in terms of the reforms we have undertaken in basic education in this country. Those children, I can’t abandon them; we can’t stop what we have achieved to date. So, based on that, we believe that because of the connection which we have created with our people, we have no doubt in our minds that we will win any election, direct or indirect elections in Edo State,” he said.
The governor expressed concern that the political tussle in state was not from within the state but from outside.
Commenting on the crisis between him and his immediate predecessor, who is the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, the governor said the situation was unfortunate and that he was ready to reach a truce with Oshiomhole.
“It is unfortunate that he is taking the position he has taken; I believe that he was not properly guided. I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens. I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward.
“The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do,” he said.
The governor said he has the full support of all the governors elected on the platform of the APC in line with the principles of the party, which always supports continuity.
On the COVID-19 situation in the state, the governor said over 300,000 persons have been screened for COVID-19, out of the 500,000-target set by the state government.
The governor said the state government would ensure that the killers of the 100-level student of the University of Benin, Uwaila Omozuwa, are tracked and brought to justice, describing the crime as heinous.