APC has itself to beat in Edo poll, says Pedro Obaseki

Dr. Pedro Obaseki

Dr. Pedro Obaseki

Dr. Pedro Obaseki an aspirant in the Edo State governorship election coming up later this year has cautioned his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) against unwholesome practices during the primaries to avoid what befell the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Besides, he said that the Edo people were tired of “recycled and reshuffled politicians” that he claimed were lacking in ideas that would take the state to a higher level.

According to him, any attempt to manipulate the primaries contrary to the guidelines and provisions of the party’s constitutions, would be to the peril and detriment of the party and the persons.

“It is not a hidden fact if you bring wrong person the people will vote for another person. That is what happened to PDP before maybe it’s going to be reversed osmosis. I have no fears but whoever manipulates the process it will be at their own detriment and peril,” he stated.

The governorship aspirant whose epic adventure-film, Igodo won him the ‘Director of the Year 1999’, said that the people of Edo were tired of recycled and reshuffled politicians and were yearning for genuine change.

His words: “Edo state is tired, not tired of the party but tired of the recycled, reshuffled ideologically bereft political players because everybody who is running in APC today apart from one or two were all members of the PDP yesterday. While those in the PDP today apart from one or two were all members of the APC, CAN, ANPP.”

He said what was playing out currently in Edo was an exchange of politicians between APC and PDP and that the change mantra must be properly executed “Edo state will be harboured with exchange and I believe that exchange is just a cosmetic shuffling of those who got us here in the first place and that is what has happened maybe to a lesser extent in the national sphere whereby the change mantra has been taken over by a reshuffling of those who got us here while we wanted change in the first place.”

Obaseki, a polyglot claimed that he was the most qualified of the aspirants to deliver APC at the polls cautioning that the party should not delude itself believing that Edo was an APC state. He insisted that circumstances and the personality of the incumbent governor brought APC to power.

“I believe that I alone among the army of aspirants in APC have what it takes to make APC win Edo state because Edo state is not an APC state. To say Edo state is an APC state is to be economical with the political truth. But I know that I can leverage on the successes of Oshiomhole and I know that with the successes of Oshiomhole I will be able to take Edo to a brand new level,” he avowed.

He also spoke on zoning, insisting that he would not sacrifice competence on the door of zoning, as it was sheer laziness claiming that Edo people were one. He argued that he did not support Oshiomhole because Oshiomhole was from Edo North, but because at that time, the governor was the one that could move the state forward.

Obaseki who said he wanted to be “the street governor” counseled against election violence stressing that no politician ambition in Edo state was worth a single drop of an Edo blood.

It is not a hidden fact if you bring wrong person the people will vote for another person. That is what happened to PDP before maybe it’s going to be reversed osmosis.

He said his governance would be anchored on three point agenda of EDO – Empowerment through Development and access to Opportunities. He said emphasis would be on employment derived form developmental programmes and policies that would open up opportunities for the people.

His ambition makes it the second from the Obaseki royal family of Benin. Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Chairman of Edo State Economic Team, believed to have the nod of the Governor, is in the race. Pedro is the younger cousin of Godwin and both are members of the APC

But the contest is not filial-based neither would the involvement of the two brothers bring division to the Benin royal household.

Rather, the issue is about the larger interest of Edo State; about who has the competence and capacity to lead the state and move it forward from the present level, according to Pedro who claimed to have joined the race long before the cousin indicated interest.

According to him, the larger family of Obaseki endorsed him for the contest on September 9, 2015 with the knowledge of Godwin. He stressed however that there was no quarrel between them saying: “If he (Godwin) wins, I will support him, and I beg him to support me if I win.”

Asked if it would not be wiser for the two to team up and ensure that a family member emerges, he said: “If my family looses out and Edo State gains, that is fine”.

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