Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on Thursday said he has no apologies for showing more than a passing interest in who succeeds him as governor.
He, however, insisted that the process to select his successor would follow due process via a free and fair primaries for All Progressives Congress, APC, members.
Mr. Oshiomhole noted that many aspirants are vying to run on the platform of APC based on the strength of his administration’s performance.
He made these views known at an enlarged meeting of the leadership of the APC from the three senatorial districts of the state.
The governor said he would never be afraid to take a position and to explain his position on the basis of his conviction.
Oshiomhole said he owed the party the explanation on the qualities needed from his successor in view of recent public reactions to speculation that he already has a candidate in mind.
Governor Oshiomhole is believed to favour the Chairman of the Economic Team of the Edo State government, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as his successor.
He stated that the type of governor Edo needs after him is one that has the capacity to look beyond going to Abuja for allocation because not much is available there at the moment.
He said, “Should I as a governor have no such right to have a voice and a say on the choice of my successor? I cannot be neutral in matters affecting my environment”.
“Even people who are not from Edo state will always tell me to guide them so that Edo will not go back to the past. I will never be afraid to take a position and to explain my position on the basis of my conviction. In a democracy whether matured or growing, endorsement is legitimate. What I owe Edo people is very clear to me.
“I have heard several things about my person, some said he has anointed one of the candidates, some now call me god father. There is no question that the governorship candidate of this party will be produced through primaries. In the last elections, House of Assembly, National Assembly and presidential elections, we held primaries.
“So when people make those statements I just laugh. So this governor has no powers to impose any body on our party and certainly anybody on our state. I am proud to say that we have more than 60 political parties, why is it that everybody wants to run on APC platform? Why not Labour Party or PDP? It is on the strength of the performance of the government that I am privileged to head”.