Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed gratitude to his Bayelsa counterpart, Senator Douye Diri, and the people of the state for their support which made his re-election possible in the September 19 governorship election.
Governor Obaseki, who said he remains grateful to Senator Diri, described his victory in the election as a unifying factor for the South-South region of Nigeria.
Speaking in Yenagoa on Tuesday night at a state dinner in his honour, Obaseki said the victory, which has brought all the states in the South-South under one party, will foster rapid socio-economic development in the region.
Governor Diri’s spokesman, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a press statement, quoted Obaseki as commending President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring a level playing field in the poll and expressed the optimism that the outcome will rub off positively on future elections in the country and allow the will of the people to prevail at all times.
He said: “We drove here tonight from Asaba as part of our tour to come and say thank you. To come and appreciate His Excellency, Governor Diri and the people of Bayelsa State for what you have done for us; for the contributions you made to ensure that we emerged victorious in last Saturday’s election. We did not want to keep it late just to let you know how truly grateful we are.
“Senator Diri said he didn’t do much, just prayers. But that was more than enough. You did more than prayers. You visited us, you contributed, you gave us support, you prayed. These are all the things that came together to give us victory.
“This victory is what we call unity victory. It has united us in Edo as one people. It has united us in Bendel as one sub-region and it is uniting us in the South-South as one region. As a region, we have all it takes to be greater than many countries in Africa but the starting point is cooperation.”
Earlier, Governor Diri described Obaseki’s re-election as triumph for democracy in Nigeria, saying it was a litmus test that the country passed creditably.
“My brother governor was disqualified by his former party, which claimed he did not have a certificate. The irony was so strong that those of us watching from the sides were asking if the party was serious that a sitting governor does not have the qualification to contest an election or that it was going to go like what happened in Lagos.
“This (your victory) would not have been possible if you had chickened out of that race. You took the bull by the horn. You had the support of your people and you had the support of your party that gave you the umbrella when it was raining.
He expressed the optimism that the South-South would remain a PDP stronghold and the party would transform the fortunes of the region.