The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has emerged as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the September gubernatorial election in the state.
He was announced after ratification by party delegates following the withdrawal of his main rival, Kenneth Imasuagbon.
With this development, Obaseki will face his main rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the main election.
At least seven other parties have concluded their primaries and selected candidates for the governorship election, according to the electoral commission, INEC.
The PDP primary was supervised by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, and his Zamfara and Oyo counterparts, Bello Mattawalle and Seyi Makinde.
Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees, BoT of the PDP on Thursday congratulated Governor Obaseki for his victory, urging all and sundry to work together to deliver the state to the party in September.
In a statement by its chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, the BoT called for formidable unity among party members so that PDP will emerge the ruling party in 2023.
The Board of Trustees also congratulated the NWC of the party and the PDP governors for their tireless efforts in bringing Obaseki into the party fold.
He also thanked the state executives and other members of the BoT for their efforts in sustaining the party.
The statement reads: “On behalf of over 100 PDP BoT members, who serve as the conscience of the party, I wish to sincerely congratulate first the entire people of Edo state inclusive of all political parties, especially members of our party PDP who encouraged Governor Obaseki to quickly move to PDP.
“My biggest congratulations go to Governor Obaseki who quickly understood the All Progressives Congress, APC dirty game in their effort to mock and disgrace him.
“I want to appeal to the leadership and all members of PDP to continue to make our party stronger and more united in our efforts to govern Nigeria come 2023. The party should shun actions that will not bring progress.
The BoT is ever ready to work with party members especially our NWC and governors. “We congratulate all the South-South governors for producing all PDP governors from their zone and appeal to other governors to do the same.
“I want to assure the party and all members that BoT is one and united and is ever ready to carry out its responsibilities as the conscience of the party.”
Earlier, three governorship aspirants of the PDP in Edo stepped down for Gov Godwin Obaseki to contest in order to sustain unity in the party.
Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, who was chairman PDP Edo Governorship Primary Committee, said this during the governorship primary on Thursday at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium in Benin.
He said the aspirants took the steps to minimise and avoid party rancour ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
The aspirants were House of Representative member, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Chief Gideon Ikini and Mr. Ken Imasuagbon.
Mohammed noted that there had been adjustments and synergy among the aspirants, adding that aspirants would be given the opportunity to address delegates on their decisions.
He said that the party had respect for internal democracy, adding that in spite of internal wrangling, the party had always put the interest of Nigeria first.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four aspirants, held hands in unity and danced to songs at the podium.
The aspirants, who took turns to address delegates, said they dropped their ambitions because they were convinced that Obaseki would continue with his developmental stride which aligned with their mission.