The famous Okada town in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State will be set agog on Monday, January 29, 2024 when one of the leading aspirants for the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial ticket in the state, Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, kicks off his campaign.

The retired federal permanent secretary arrived Benin City yesterday to the warm embrace of thousands of his supporters who stormed the Benin Airport to welcome him.

Only last Thursday, a non-partisan socio-cultural group, Edo Unity League Worldwide bought the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for Dr Umakhihe to contest the APC gubernatorial primary in the state.
Speaking on arrival in Benin City, Dr Umakhihe thanked his supporters for the show of love and turning out in thousands to welcome him into the state capital.

“I am overwhelmed by this show of solidarity for my ambition to make Edo State better. The Government House on Dennis Osadebey Avenue is our focus. I pledge not to disappoint you in this our quests to give Edo indigenes a better sense of belonging with top notch infrastructural development,” began Dr Umakhihe who was clad in green Ankara with his wife, Florence by his side.

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He described the earlier reports of his dropping out of the race as not true, saying, “the earlier reports of our party asking me and others to step down was not true. I know most of you must have been shocked by the reports because you all know how formidable and prepared our structures to clinch the party ticket and be eventually elected Governor of Edo State are. There is no going back on this.”

After the kickoff of his campaign in Okada today, the train will move to Ovia SouthWest LGA and then to Egor. All the other 15 local government areas will be reached to take his message of Fresh Hope to people of the state.

All APC LGA Exco caucuses, Ward leaders, Chairmen, Women leaders, Youth leaders and Secretaries will meet with the aspirant to carve a way forward ahead of the February 17 primary of the party in the state.

In his Manifesto which he christened: “A Fresh Start for Shared Prosperity,” Dr Umakhihe outlined key areas which will be the plank of his administration if he gets the party ticket and elected as the governor of Edo State.

“There is a reason why Edo State is called the Heart Beat of the Nation. It is a state with a rich history and cultural heritage. A state with a common ancestry and where civilization beaconed on the world…..however, we are not where we ought to be due to many factors we do not intend to address. The resolve of my administration will be to reposition the state such that , it will take its preeminent position in Nigeria.”