My support for Obaseki was based on principles – Solomon Edebiri

By: Omede James Samuel, Benin.

Former gubernatorial aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State in the 2016 state election, Chief Iyobosa Solomon Edebiri, has admitted that he supported {and is supporting} the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki against his party candidate, in the concluded gubernatorial election.

Edebiri made this admission exclusively to URHOKPOTA REPORTERS in reaction to an interview with him to clarify his position on the rumour {not in URHOKPOTA REPORTERS) on widespread allegation that he collected gratification from the Obaseki and the APC to betray his party, the PDP, and their candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the 2016 gubernatorial election.

Our correspondent spoke with Chief Edebiri in Benin regarding the said rumor of him planning to join APC because of a government contract and that he collected money from APC or Obaseki during the last gubernatorial election in order to support him.

Edebiri denied collecting money from the APC or Obaseki but however admitted that an organization which he is president of has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Edo State government, approved by Governor Obaseki.

In Edebiri’s own words; the welder-turned politician said;

“Let me unequivocally state that I did not collect a dime from Obaseki to support him. My support for him was based clearly on principles.”

He also debunked the idea of him (Edebiri} planning to join the APC because of the said MoU or a contract. He said that he supported Obaseki during the governorship election because he believed in him.

Edebiri added that as a man whose intentions has been the progress and development of Edo State, he Edebiri will offer Obaseki whatever support he can to ensure Edo State is industrialised amongst other developments. And that if his support for Obaseki is considered as a support for the APC, there is nothing he can do about that, but that it would however be pertinent to set the records straight for those saying that he is supporting APC, that he Edebiri, is only supporting APC because of Obaseki and his (Obaseki’s} administrative style and that he would continue supporting him.

Edebiri however clarified that he has not received any contract from Obaseki but only signed an MoU.

Governor Obaseki recently signed a multimillion naira worth of MoU with the Nigerian Institute of Welding of which Chief Edebiri is the President in a bid to train Edo indigenes in Welding and Fabrication as well as establish a welding village in Edo State. Edebiri explained that it is only the MoU that has been signed, but no contract has been executed.

Edebiri also reiterated his reason for wanting to be governor making him to have run for same position three consecutive times (2007, 2011 and 2016}, as being his desire to help develop the State as well as meet the yearnings of the people of the State and that if someone else is at least trying to meet a part  (even if not all} of his objectives of wanting to be governor, the least he (Edebiri} could do is to render them assistance as well as share his developmental thoughts with them for the growth of the State.

According to him, the development of Edo State is Paramount and supersede any form of partisan or political consideration.

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