In a rare show of statesmanship, humility and courage, Edo-born billionaire business mogul and Chairman of Ocean Marine Solution, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo has congratulated Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki on his re-election. He also congratulated Edo people whom he noted, took their civic responsibility with a sense of urgency and trooped out to express themselves.
Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was on Sunday afternoon declared winner of a keenly contested governorship election held September 19, in which he defeated his major challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, APC by 307, 955 votes to 223, 619. Okunbo had incurred the wrath of the governor and some of his aides for throwing his weight behind Ize-Iyamu leading to a bitter feud.
But in a move that would no doubt pleasantly surprise many, Okunbo on Monday, put animosity aside to wish the governor well in his renewed tenure. In a personally signed statement, the former commercial pilot said “In the past three months, pitched battles have raved in the airwaves, in towns, in the streets, in villages and in every hamlet across Edo State for the governorship seat at Dennis Osadebey Avenue, GRA, Benin-City, Edo state.
“In this same period, I have witnessed the most orchestrated attacks on my person where I was continuously in defense because of my beliefs and the position I took. The candidates presented their manifestos to the great people of Edo State. Thankfully, the elections have been free and fair and peaceful. The people have spoken in no uncertain terms.
“It is incumbent upon me as a protagonist for the candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to now issue a statement in my personal capacity as a private citizen as I did at various times during the campaign.
“First of all, I congratulate the people of Edo State who took their civic responsibility with a sense of urgency and trooped out to express themselves. I also wish to congratulate His Excellency, the incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki for winning the mandate to continue for another four years. Congratulations”.
Okunbo prayed that the next four years would “take the state to the promised land under your leadership” adding that “As a loyal citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and an Indigene of Edo State, I urge all of the people at home and abroad to join hands with the governor to build a vibrant democracy, and also to build a vibrant economy where the youth can find gainful employment in an atmosphere of peace and security”.