Sunday, August 28, 2016 2:57 pm
Thousands of Social Democratic Party (SDP) members in Edo State, including the 192 Ward Chairmen on of the party in the state, executive members of the party in all the 192 wards and have renounced their membership of the party and have joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) with a resolve to work for the victory of the governorship candidate of APC, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in the September 10 governorship election.
Speaking while decamping to the APC at a rally in Auchi, at the weekend, State leader of the SDP, Alhaji Usman Shagadi who led thousands of his members to join the APC said, “Before I go into today’s business, let me congratulate our son, our brother, our friend, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. We have no money to give him. This is how we shall pay him. As we are here, my members in SDP, I have 192 ward chairmen.
“For two years now, I have been organizing them. Today, a few of us will speak on their behalf. I will speak on behalf of all of them. Then the chairman of all chairmen in Edo North will speak on behalf of Edo North. The chairman of chairmen in Edo Central, the Esan North East chairman and in the Edo South, Egor chairman, Olaye will speak for them.
“For the past two years, I have stayed in a house which is not my home. I was in a house which is not my home. I have now come to my home. I want to announce for the purpose of publication, that henceforth, I drop the name of SDP. I am no more a member of SDP. I have now returned to my party, APC.”
Shagadi added, “Finally, sir, all the people that are here, the majority of them, about two-third of them, are SDP members. I want to assure you that on September 10, you would have known that the SDP members that have come to join this party are very important. We will win this election by the grace of God. So, as we are going round the state, I will be showing you all our members that we will be declaring one by one. Many of them are not here. As we are moving round, I will be going round with the state campaign team, and I will be declaring my people all over the state.”
Responding while receiving the defectors from the SDP to the APC, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said, “People will not understand why I am happy that Shagadi has returned. It is not only about winning elections. That is very important. Now, my tenure is coming to an end, for which I give thanks to God. But to have our father back home to receive his son when he finishes his work gives me endless joy in my heart.
“When I look back at the end of my journey, I still remain with my daddy the way we started. That for me, more than anything else, gives joy, so that I will never be accused of being a son who God elevated and then he forgot his father. That will not be my portion. That will not be your portion. And that is why I am happy that Shagadi is back. Now, the house is complete.”
The Governor continued, “I want to thank all the SDP people who have followed Shagadi to return. And I believe the state deputy chairman was one hundred percent right. Shagadi cannot declare to APC. You don’t declare to go to a house that is your own. You can only go out and return home. So, Shagadi has returned home. And when they say the devil is a liar, this is the best evidence. So, Shagadi, I am very happy. We can make wrong decisions in life. Both the Bible and the Koran recognize in the journey of life, sometimes we are right; sometimes we are wrong. But our prayer is, whenever we do it wrong, God help us to correct it while we are alive.
“So, Shagadi, I am happy that we are reuniting particularly at this time. Nobody is going to say you returned because the elections are over. You are coming at a planting season. We are going to plant together so that we may harvest together. So, Shagadi, I want to thank you. Thank you for the courage because it takes great courage for an elder of your standing to say, look, at this time in my life, I am returning home. I am so happy. God will bless you. God will bless your wife. For me, I am happy, and I pray to God almighty to give us victory.
“Don’t go home and say we have already won. Go and vote. Obaseki will provide a quality of leadership that Edo people will say, we thought Adams was great, this one is even better. That is my prayer, and by the grace of God, he will not fail us. Thank you.”
He added, “When we say Obaseki, Shagadi knows Obaseki. He was the chairman of our economic team from 2008 till this time, working for us, receiving no salary. He believes in our State. He believes in our people. And that is what we have in common. After working with me for eight years, I am convinced he will do better than me. And that is why I am happy for Philip. We want to build a younger generation.”
Oshimhole said, “the referendum we are going to do on September 10 is to choose between light and darkness, between a school without a roof and the one with the red roof, between Benin City that is flooded every day and the way it is now. So, I believe it’s a simple message. Edo cannot return to Egypt.