Daily Trust

Ighodalo receives certificat­e of return, extends olive branch to Shaibu, others

- By Baba Martins

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the September 21 Edo State governorsh­ip election, Asue Ighodalo, has appealed to other aspirants who lost out at the primary to work with him for the party to retain the state in the coming election.

The process leading to the emergence of Ighodalo has been wrought with controvers­y, as the other aspirants, led by the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of manipulati­ng the process in favour of the eventual winner. An allegation the governor denied.

The crisis culminated in a parallel congress where Shaibu was also elected as a parallel candidate.

But speaking after receiving his certificat­e of return at the PDP National Secretaria­t in Abuja yesterday, Ighodalo said the contest was over and pleaded with the other aspirants to join hands with him to retain the state.

He said, “To my other coaspirant­s, it’s good to contest, but the contest is over, and like I have been begging each and every one of you, I continue begging you, please, let’s come together as one.

“Since my first day in this party, I have been begging you, and I will continue because it’s extremely critical that Edo State must and shall, by the grace of God, remain a PDP state, and that will be made easier if we work together as a team. And we will, by the grace of God Almighty, work together. I will keep on begging; we must unite.”

Speaking just before presenting the certificat­e to the candidate, the acting national chairman of the party, Umar Damagum, also enjoined the candidate to reach out to other aspirants and reconcile with them.

“You have a daunting task before you,” he said, adding, “Normally, after primaries, there are lots of disagreeme­nts, and it is better to reconcile yourselves.

“I’m urging the candidate to go after your fellow aspirants and make them see why you must work as a team so that Edo will be an easy ride for us.

“We have seen what has happened in other parties; let us not rejoice because they are having their own challenges.

“We should be more focused on our own challenges, and we should be more focused on taking that state back for the PDP.”

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