Indications are emerging that candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will carry the day in the coming Edo State House of Assembly election as an increasing number of groups in the state have continued to rally support for the PDP candidates in the poll slated for Saturday, March 18, 2023.

From the Nigeria Labour Congress to Trade Union Congress (TUC), Public Service Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Tipper Drivers Association, Arewa Community, Igbo Community and more, it has been a gale of endorsements for the PDP candidates.

The groups hinge their support for the PDP candidates on the giant developmental strides recorded by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led PDP administration in the state over the last six years.

“Every right-thinking Edolite will agree that the Obaseki-led administration under the PDP banner has brought massive transformation to the state, hence the need to vote in people who will work with the governor to achieve further development in the state,” Chief Comr. Odion Olaye, Edo NLC chairman, said on Tuesday when workers in Edo State took to major streets in Benin metropolis on a one-day rally to appreciate Governor Obaseki for his government’s commitment to the welfare of workers in the state.

Members of the Organized Labour, comprising NLC, TUC, JNC, NUP, NURTW, and RTEAN also declared support for the PDP candidates in the March 18 House of Assembly election in appreciation to Governor Obaseki for what he had been doing for workers and the state.

“We are the only state with a minimum wage of N40,000, regular and prompt promotion of civil/public servants, prompt payment of salaries and pensions to workers and retirees, conducive work environment, an increase of retirement age from 60 years to 65 years and service years from 35 to 40 years (whichever comes first), among several others,” Olaye said.

“The organized labour is fully in support of your administration’s commitment to the development of Edo State and we call on workers in the state to come out en masse on Saturday, March 18, to vote for the governor’s party, PDP. This is so that he can continue the good works he has been doing for workers in Edo State,” he said.

Comr. Aigbomwanhi James, Edo TUC chairman, also reassured of the union’s support for PDP candidates, while commending the governor for the construction of the Labour House, among other projects.

Pullen Noruwa, Edo State chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, noted that it was when Governor Obaseki came into office that all the entitlements of pensioners were received, which is unprecedented in the state in less than a year.

“The pension arrears of over N4 billion was paid, monthly pension comes before 26th of each month with no arrears accumulated for all retired civil/public servants. Governor Obaseki met a 6 percent increase in 2003, 15 percent in 2007, and 33 percent in 2010 and implemented them, and today pensioners are enjoying the same,” Noruwa said.

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Last week, the Arewa Community in Edo State had also thrown the weight of their support behind the PDP candidates, pledging to vote massively for the PDP to ensure the party’s victory in Saturday’s poll.

Speaking during a visit by Governor Obaseki to the Arewa Community in Aduwawa, Ikpoba-Okha local council, Alhaji Sani Muhammed, chairman of Arewa PDP Mobilizers, said the Obaseki government has benefitted the Arewa Community in Edo State.

“Your administration has appointed eight members of the community and two out of them are women. It shows your administration is gender sensitive,” Muhammed said.

“206 members of the Arewa Community are part of the Edo State Security Network in the State. We have 70 polling units in this area and we assure you of 100 percent votes for PDP candidates in the EDHA election on the 18th of March 2023,” he said.

Commercial bus drivers in the state under the aegis of the Drivers Welfare Empowerment Scheme, tomatoes, vegetables, and livestock traders at the livestock market at Aduwawa, and members and leaders of the Butchers Association in Edo State also assured the governor of their support for the PDP candidates.

When he visited Sobe community in Owan West Local Government Area (LGA) of the state to canvass votes for the candidates of the PDP in Saturday’s House of Assembly election, Governor Obaseki was assured of support by the chairman of PDP, Sobe, Ward 11, Mr. Joseph Igure.

“I want to assure you, Mr. Governor, that all the 19 units in Ward 11 in Sobe will be won for PDP in the March 18, 2023 House of Assembly elections in the State. We will make sure this election is a done deal. We must deliver our House of Assembly candidates. We will continue to canvas votes for PDP and make sure we win all 19 units in Ward 11,” Igure said.

In all the places Governor Obaseki visited, he canvassed votes for PDP candidates in the election to enable the government to continue with its developmental strides.

“The election of Saturday 18th of March 2023 is our election. I appeal to you to vote for PDP candidates to occupy the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) as this will be a vote to support our developmental strides in Edo State,” Obaseki told members of NURTW, RTEAN, and the Tipper Drivers Association.

“You people helped us before to have 24 out of the 24 seats in the State House of Assembly but they all ran away, following their godfather, and only 10 remained in the House. They are now planning to come back to cause trouble for us in the state,” he said.