First and foremost at this juncture, let me commend our party, the All Progressives’ Congress, APC, for organising such a hitch-free, transparent and very credible primary election between the twelve cleared aspirants. The APC, is undoubtedly a truly progressive party, and it has continued to deepen democratic values through popular participation and robust engagements, that guarantee a level playing field for all. I hereby highly praise and thank the leadership and members of our great party for yet again setting such a high standard. It has been a tough political contestation between all the aspirants: we all campaigned across the state, to woo registered party members to support our respective aspirations; counting down from months to weeks and then days. We have finally come to the end of the first major hurdle- the primary election, which has now given me the mandate to be the flagbearer of our great party (At this point, there should be an APC chant). It is a victory that I will forever cherish in my political journey all through my life.

No doubt, this primary election was one that was keenly contested; fielding eleven other aspirants against me. They are all political heavy weights in the state and I salute them all. It was indeed an election that reflected the wishes and yearnings of majority of our members across the 192 wards in the state as ably demonstrated by the outcome. This election has further deepened our party’s internal democratic process and taken us a step further ahead of other political parties on how to promote party cohesion for positive outcomes. I feel eternally humbled by the support accorded me across the 192 wards in the state, under an atmosphere of friendship, conviviality and solidarity. Our ever supportive party members have once again demonstrated their collective resolve to synchronise new paradigms in line with generational leadership evolution that provides a platform for our youth population to have a say in who governs them.

For me, this victory is not just for Dennis Idahosa alone, but for the entire members of the APC in the state, and the National Headquarters including my fellow respected contestants, who have showed greater commitment to taking our party to a higher level. At the APC, our internal mechanism for resolving issues and setting the tone for a robust conversation is almost unbeatable; and I am proud to be a member of this great party. Our National Chairman is a leader who has impacted positively on the fortune of the party since his assumption of office and he has also put in place, a result-driven leadership that has further endeared the party to Nigerians from all walks of life. This increasing popularity reflected in the number of aspirants that initially indicated interest in contesting on our party’s platform, before the internal mechanism pruned the figure from 29 to 12 aspirants. This shows that the APC is firmly on ground in Edo state and remains the party to beat in the forthcoming election on 21 September 2024.

I use this opportunity to call on my fellow contestants to now join hands with me in the greater responsibility of confronting the real challenge of the general election, to return Edo state to the fold of the APC as from September 2024. The task before us will be daunting but not insurmountable. It will require our collective energies, synergies, collaborations and participation, to match the pressure and demands of the campaigns from now till then. I cannot do it alone; hence I plead most humbly for all hands to be on deck in our shared commitment to rescue Edo state from the grip of those who presently occupy Osadebe Avenue. With the outcome of this primary, we have made a bold statement about our resolve to return Edo state to APC and I assure you that the great people of Edo State will vote us as their choice for governor on 21 September, from when we will overturn the vissisitudes that have plagued our dear state around, without delay. Our dear state urgently requires a hearty governor with high emotional Intelligence to meet the needs and yearnings of our people, in an atmosphere that welcomes exchange of ideas, with regards for feelings, fraternities, friendship and communal solidarities across board. We need to heal the wounds in the land, and create a new understanding that can stimulate enterprise and productivity and thus, progress.

Edo state must work again. She must rise from the ashes of poor governance and abysmal failure. We must collectively join hands to relaunch our state onto the super highway of development, and free her from the economic predators who have polarised her for selfish reasons. I will need and hereby plead for the participation of all of us here, to achieve this ideal. The election of 21 September, presents a golden opportunity to reclaim our state and heave a sigh of relief as we rescue our dear state from its current race to ruins.

To TeamDenco, all our friends, supporters, associates, respected co-aspirants, youths, women, leaders and members of the APC, I appreciate you all. Together, we have made it here; now that we have rested this exercise of the primary, we must look forward with renewed hope and vigour as we face the greater tasks and challenge of the electoral contest. To members of the National Working Committee under the able leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Umar Ghanduje, I express my thanks and appreciation.

Also, I thank our leaders in the state, who worked tirelessly to ensure that we record this success today. I profusely thank our dogged, rugged and indefatigable leader, Distingushed Senator Adams Oshiomhole, for his exemplary role in helping to stabilise the APC in the state and providing his unique leadership style that has enhanced the growth of the party. Sir, your style is indeed laudatory; as they say, “ I want to be like you when I grow up”( chuckle). Also, I profoundly and in no small measure, express my appreciation to our president, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for standing by us in Edo state thus far, and for being such a progressive-minded president with uncommon courage and patriotism. Above all, I thank God for His grace and guidance, and where He is taking us as a people. With Mr. President and God on our side, we fear no foe. I cannot wrap this up without thanking my dear wife, specifically; she has been a pillar of support; she was by my side at most of my campaigns, traveling through difficult terrains, night and day to reach our party members to preach our message of renewed hope. We are all in this together. Now, we need to double our effort towards the bigger challenge of the general election, come September 21st, 2024. The journey to Osadebe Avenue has begun in earnest; and surely, with God Almighty on our side, together we shall all sing the Halleluyah song.

May God bless you all, all the good people of Edo State, and May God bless Nigeria.

Rt. Hon. Dennis Idahosa.

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