Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain Godwin Obaseki has said that he joined the governorship race to build on the foundation of sustainable development laid by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Paying tribute to the governor, Obaseki, a financial expert, described him as a sincere politician bubbling with passion for development, adding that he has succeeded in transforming the Southsouth state in the last seven years.
The Benin-born technocrat said it is important that Oshiomhole should be succeeded by someone who understands the vision, developmental designs and the motivation for the paradigm shift in governance.
The aspirant spoke with reporters in Lagos on his ambition, plans for the state and challenges of governance in the post-Oshiomhole era.
He said the state will need an administrator who is a democrat, who has experience and who can steer the affairs of Edo without lowering the standard set by the governor in this challenging period.
Obaseki said: “In the last seven years, Edo has been blessed by an accountable government, a government that has done a lot in terms of infrastructural development. There is need for a successor who has an understanding of how to continue the development started by the governor; someone who is a democrat, someone who can manage resources now that the oil price is going down; someone who has experience, capacity and ability to manage men and materials.”
The aspirant said the gamut of infrastructural projects undertaken by Oshiomhole, especially the 15-kilometre drainage system in Benin, the state capital, is unprecedented, adding that Edo people who will not accept the lowering of standards will continue yearn for more refurbished schools, quality teachers and other social amenities when the governor takes a bow.
Justifying his fitness for the job, he said: “I have worked with the governor for many years. I have been part of every major policy decisions of the Oshiomhole administration in the last seven years and I understand why the decisions were taken; why, where and how they were funded. The governor has laid the foundation. It is important that somebody who understands the design should build on it.”
Obaseki said if elected as governor, he will use the Information Communication Technology (ICT) to govern Edo and extend the pace of infrastructural development to include productive activities that are germane to job creation.
He said Edo should also embrace the reality of diversifying into agriculture, stressing that the 200 million hectares of land are good for huge commercial agriculture.
Obaseki dismissed the boasting by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to bounce back in the state as a ruse, adding that it is a figment of imagination. He said: “The PDP is a sinking party in Edo. Which faction of the PDP are we talking about? The PDP has its challenges. It should spend time to attend to its survival. The APC has done well. It is loved by Nigerians. The government of Oshiomhole has done well, It has worked for an unprecedented change in Edo.”