By: RALPH OKHIRIA, Benin City
Edo Sate Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has hailed the election of his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki spoke shortly after Oshiomhole was announced the elected National chairman of the APC at the party’s National Convention in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Saturday.
He noted that “the former governor’s emergence is an acknowledgement of his people-centered leadership and his commitment to the advancement of the nation.”
Governor Obaseki also congratulated other elected officials of the party.
“We are very proud of Comrade Oshiomhole’s emergence as the National Chairman of our great party, the APC. He is adequately equipped to foster unity and provide a new direction for the party, as we move closer to the general elections in 2019”, he stated.
He saluted the immediate past National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for providing purposive leadership that brought the APC to global reckon after defeating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections.
The Governor described Chief Odigie-Oyegun as a worthy leader with honour.
“Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s impressive rise to prominence was the product of a combination of hard work, humility and faith in God.
“From his humble background, he was taught the inestimable value of hard work, integrity and a good name.
“In the federal civil service, Chief Odigie-Oyegun distinguished himself and was propelled to the enviable position of a federal permanent secretary.
“Chief Odigie-Oyegun’s forthrightness, civility and decorousness garnered from his impressive years of service to our great country in the civil service, marked him out for higher national call to serve our country after his retirement from the federal civil service.
“These sterling qualities earned him the confidence of Edo people, when they turned out in their numbers to entrust him with their mandate as the first Governor of Edo State, in the aborted third Republic, from 1992-1993.
“As a loyal and dedicated party man, his leadership qualities earned him the position of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and under his leadership, the APC grew into the largest party in Nigeria and displaced the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power at the center, through popular vote in the 2015 presidential election,” Obaseki added.
Recalling the achievements of the former APC National Chairman, Obaseki noted: “In particular, the 2015 presidential elections marked a turning point in the political history of our great country and reset the destinies of over 180 million Nigerians for greatness.
“It was the first time since the return of democracy in 1999, that an opposition party would obliterate a “behemoth” ruling party.
“Chief Odigie-Oyegun’s sagacity and wealth of experience helped in stabilising our great party during our most trying moments, when members of the decimated opposition wished us doom.
“He is passing the baton of leadership of our great party, the APC, after successfully navigating the party out of troubled waters and making it stronger, stable and better prepared for the challenges of the future.
“Edo State is proud of this illustrious son for his immense contributions to the entrenchment of democracy in this country.
“History will forever adjudge Chief Odigie-Oyegun a worthy son of Edo State, one who elevated our politics and ushered in a new era of positive change and development for our great party and our country.”
Oshiomhole’s election at the well attended APC National Convention in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, followed the withdrawal of other aspirants from the chairmanship race.