Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has described a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Tom Ikimi, as a serial election loser during the launching of the party’s governorship poll campaign in the state on Saturday.
The governor also took a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party, saying it underdeveloped the state.
He said the PDP deprived Edo State of basic infrastructure under the disguise that it was a civil service state.
About Ikimi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Oshiomhole said, “Throughout the period that Ikimi was with us, and I respect him at least because he has capacity to lose election serially, we never won elections in Igueben. When he left, we felt relieved.
“He (Ikimi) said he was leaving because we elected a new chairman (Chief John Odigie-Oyegun). But this is a party chairman who has been a permanent secretary at the age of 40, not by quota but by merit. He fought for democracy, went on exile and came back. He founded a political party; we elected him as the party chairman and he (Ikimi) said that they took his pot of soup.”
At the ceremony, the APC Chairman, Odigie-Oyegun, handed the party’s flag to Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his running mate, Philip Shuaibu, as the governorship and deputy governorship candidates of the party in the September 10 election.
Oyegun was led by other leaders of the party at the state and national levels to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, where the event took place, under heavy presence of security operatives from the Nigerian Army, the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
No fewer than 13 APC governors were present at the venue.
They included the Imo State Governor and Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha; Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Simon Lalung (Plateau), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna) and Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi).
The governors of Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Bornu, Kwara, Oyo and Kogi were represented by their deputies.
According to Oyegun, Obaseki is a “brain box” in whom the APC is well pleased.
He stated that the party was proud of the achievements of the incumbent governor in the last seven and a half years.
In his remarks, Obaseki noted that, if elected, his administration would focus on employment creation in agriculture and entrepreneurial skills, with 200,000 jobs created across the state, in his first four years in office.