Being A Statement Issued By Senator (Prof.) Oserheimen A. Osunbor On The Occasion Of His Declaration Of Intention To Contest The Edo State Governorship Election 2016 On The Platform Of All Progressives Congress
It is with great pleasure and gratitude to God that I make this public
declaration today of my intention to seek my party the All Progressives
Congress (APC) ticket and thereafter contest election to the Office of
the Governor of Edo State in the general elections coming up later in
I have been motivated and encouraged to run as a result of
the popular clamour by the good people of Edo State for me to make
myself available to sustain the impressive developmental strides of the
Comrade Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiornhole and to re-enact the impressive
performance I had established during my brief stint as Governor between
2007 and 2008.
Out of respect to the Comrade Governor who appealed
that aspirants should tarry a while before commencing campaign in order
not to distract him from governance, I have deliberately waited this
long before publicly declaring my interest. This should now lay to rest
any speculations about whether I am in the race or not.
myself as an aspirant in the forthcoming elections as a man that is well
known to the people of Edo State and beyond. I have built for myself
over the years a reputation for excellence, integrity, hard work and a
remarkable track record of achievements. I state with a deep sense of
humility that I am an academician and intellectual, an outstanding
legislator and law reformer with a legacy of impressive performance in
governance. Throughout the length and breadth of Edo State I enjoy
Let me make clear that I have respect for all
the other aspirants in my party APC and the other political parties who
seek to govern Edo State from 12th November 2016. I believe that most,
if not all, may meet the minimum requirements to be governor. But Edo
State deserves the best as governor. With due humility I present myself
to my party leaders and delegates in particular and the people of Edo
State in general as the best to fly the party flag in the general
election and take over the baton-from the Comrade Governor
to state the reasons why I consider myself the most suitable. For those
who do not know, let me share the following highlights about my
1. LL.B. (First Class) Honours UNN 1975 — The First Nigerian to ever do so in that faculty.
2. Best graduating student in Nigerian Law School 1976.
3. Ph.D. University of Warwick (Straight from LLB with exemption from a Master’s Degree.
4. Rhodes Scholar (Like former USA President Bill Clinton).
5. From Senior Lecturer, I became a Professor of Law with only 8 years lectureship and publications.
6. Visiting Fellow at the Queen’s University of Belfast 1986/87
7. Dean, Faculty of Law, Lagos State University 1996-1999.
1. Delegate to the Constitutional Conference 1994/95 — (Chairman Sub Committee on Population).
2. Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria — Held various chairmanship positions including:
a. Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC
b. Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters
c. Chairman, several Senate Ad-hoc Committees and National Assembly Joint Committees.
d. Chairman, Sub-Committee on Legislature and Legislative List,
National Assembly joint Committee on Constitution Amendment. So profound
was my impact that I was nicknamed by my colleagues “Attorney General
of the Senate”.
1. Governor of Edo State 2008 — 2009
2. Member and later Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission May 2011 March 2015.
My impressive performances as governor in all spheres are too well
known that it is not necessary and indeed is impossible to enumerate
them all here but suffice it to mention a few:
• Roads construction and rehabilitation across the state,
• In crease in workers’ salary twice within a year,
• State-backed access to bank loan for workers,
• Increase of subvention to educational institutions,
• Payment of bursary to students,
• Payment of gratuity and pension to retirees,
• Supply of dental equipment to general hospitals,
• Respect to traditional rulers and institutions, etc.
State voters have demonstrated in the past that they vote based on the
track record of performance by the candidates rather than geography or
any other primordial considerations. The singsong that “only a Benin man
can win” has been proved wrong in the past, notably in 2012 when a
non-Benin man defeated a Benin man in a landslide. Given my track
record, I am confident that APC will win by a wide margin if granted the
privilege to fly the party flag as the party candidate in the election.
If the delegates nominate me I cannot see any other political party
being able to field a candidate who can match my record. When the
campaign starts we shall unveil our detailed programme of action and
vision for Edo State, located within the general ambit of the APC
Ladies and gentlemen, I am not unmindful of arguments
about which senatorial zone’s turn it is to produce the next governor. I
believe that this is a legitimate issue to raise in order to ensure
fairness, equity and justice amongst the component parts of the state
i.e. Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North. Nevertheless, I want to be
assessed based on my antecedents and record of performance rather than
simply on arguments based on zoning.
All my working life I have
assisted and touched the lives of people across the three senatorial
districts. From Lecturer to Professor at the University of Lagos and
Lagos State University, I assisted Edo State students to gain admission
irrespective of the senatorial district they come from. This is
verifiable. As Senator, my doors were open to persons from Edo South and
Edo North including Edo Central that I represented) and I assisted them
without discrimination even when they could not reach their own
Senators. Specifically, I influenced and assisted Presidential nominees
from Edo South and Edo North to get Senate confirmation of their
appointments, when their Senators were unavailable, inaccessible or
refused to help them. I will respect their privacy by not mentioning
names. Many of such beneficiaries remain grateful to me till date. As
governor I spread development projects across Edo North, Edo Central and
Edo South and all the benefiting communities remain grateful to me till
date. It is this show of appreciation across the State that propels me
to run. As they say, one good turn deserves another.
The other issue
that I have heard raised against me is that I am new in APC because I
allegedly joined after the Presidential election on 28th March 2015.
This is far from the truth. It is a well-known fact that I parted ways
with PDP after the manipulated primaries of February 2012. Thereafter, I
supported and campaigned for the Comrade Governor in the July 2012
governorship election. I openly supported and campaigned for the ACN
candidates in the Local Government Council elections in 2013. Before the
2015 general elections I hosted a series of meeting with APC leaders in
my Senatorial District and especially my LGA and ward. I provided
financial support and campaigned for APC on NTA lruekpen and NTA Benin,
the week BEFORE the elections. Prior to this, I had been issued my APC
membership card in my ward. What the public witnessed at the rally in
Ekpoma on Tuesday 7th April 2015 was the governor formally welcoming and
receiving me into the party. This should not be misconstrued as the day
I joined the party. I was already a card-carrying member of APC from my
ward when I appeared on TV, campaigning for the party candidates BEFORE
the election. There must be many here who watched me on television
campaigning before the election. You should help put the record
straight. It is wrong to group me along with those who joined after the
Finally, let me emphasize the point that modern governance
is complex and requires a multi-dimensional approach by a leader with
vast experience. The in-coming governor will be stepping in at a period
of declining statutory allocations from the Federation Account
occasioned by the drastic fall in the price of crude oil. This will test
the ability of the in-coming governor for financial creativity and,
above all, prudence in the management of lean resources. I affirm that I
possess the qualities needed to lead Edo State at this point in time.
Happily, this is in tune with the Comrade Governor’s own thinking as to
the attributes of the person to succeed him.
I will end this address
by appealing very strongly to His Excellency the Comrade Governor, my
party leaders and delegates that the choice they make during the
primaries will determine whether Edo people will enjoy good governance
or bad governance post 2016. Your future and that of generations yet
unborn lie in your hands. Do not settle for less when you can have the
best. Avoid “Had I known”.
Thank you and may God bless you, God bless Edo State and God bless Nigeria.
Oba gha to okpe-e, Ise!