Home News How Dangote, Oshiomhole’s Man, Obaseki, Won Edo APC Primary

How Dangote, Oshiomhole’s Man, Obaseki, Won Edo APC Primary

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It was something many had predicted long before the poll. Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole had shown his hand in favour of Mr Godwin Obaseki, one-time head of his economic team, as the man to succeed him in office. He was joined in their venture by African richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Oshiomhole had dumped his deputy of eight years, Dr. Pius Odubu, creating tension in the state cabinet and in Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) family in the race for the September 10 election.

The choice of Obaseki also spurred sibling rivalry and fight within the popular Obaseki family as Godwin had suddenly entered into the governorship equation long after his brother, Pedro Obaseki, had indicated his interest in the state governorship race and began criss-crossing the state.

So, on Sunday, it was little surprise when Godwin Obaseki emerged the governorship candidate of APC for the Sept. 10 election in Edo State, though allegation of votes buying had trailed the primary election.

Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State, the leader of the party’s national delegation, that conducted the primary election, announced the results in Benin, the state capital, saying Obaseki scored 1,618 votes to defeat his 11 opponents.

Masari described the election as credible, fair and free and urged the losers and their supporters to close ranks ahead of the crucial governorship election in the state.

Other aspirants are Deputy Governor Pius Odubu, who polled 471 votes; former Minister of State for Works, Chris Ogiemwonyi, 137 votes; Ken Imasuagbon, 247 votes; a former governor of the state, Osariemen Osunbor, eight votes and Prof. Ebegue Amadasun, who also polled eight votes.

Similarly, Charles Airhiabvere, a retired major general, garnered 11 votes; Emmanuel Arigbe-Osula, 10 votes; Austin Emuan, seven votes; Blessing Agbomhere, fives votes, and the only female aspirant, Tina Agbarha, three votes.

41 votes were rendered invalid.

In his victory speech, Obaseki said his triumph was a collective one which required cooperation of all party members to succeed. He noted that with the conclusion of the primaries a new phase that would define the future had commenced.

He described other aspirants as accomplished people and urged them to continue to work for the party to ensure its success in the governorship election.

Governor Oshiomhole described the primaries as the best ever organised by the party. He noted that the process was transparent, while the delegates were well behaved and called for unity among party members.

He said all the aspirants belonged to one family and needed to work together to ensure victory at the polls.

Oshiomhole, who described Mr. Obaseki as sound, said he was also at home with governance and “ready to hit the ground running.”

Obaseki was born in Benin City, Nigeria, to the famous and illustrious Obaseki family.

Education

He had his early education in St. Matthews Anglican Primary School Benin City from where he proceeded to Eghosa Anglican Grammer School, Benin City for his secondary schoool eductaion. He attended the University of Ibadan where he obtained a BA in Classics.

Obaseki attended the Columbia University and Pace University in New York and has an MBA in Finance and International Business. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, Nigeria and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program.

He was nominated a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum in 2001.

Obaseki began his career over 30 years ago and has established track records in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector both internationally and in Nigeria. He started out in 1983 with Capital Trust Brokers Limited Lagos as a stockbroker where he excelled and subsequently worked with International Merchant Bank (an affiliate of First Chicago Bank).

In 1988 he joined AVC Funds Limited, Lagos where he served as a Project Manager and led the core team that set up two of the new generation banks which eventually reshaped the face of the banking industry in Nigeria. Between 1993 and 1995 he worked in New York as a principal of Equatorial Finance Co, a Financial Advisory firm with a focus on Africa and providing Structured Trade Finance for African related transactions through credit, financial advisory and risk insurance.

He Founded Afrinvest West Africa Limited (formerly Securities Transactions & Trust Company Limited (SecTrust)) in 1995 as the pioneer Managing Director. The firm has since grown to become a leading Investment Banking and Investment Management firm in Nigeria. In 1995 SecTrust was appointed the correspondent stockbroker for Nigeria by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). In 1996, SecTrust established the first derivative product, the Nigerian International Debt Fund (NIDF) on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which allowed Nigerians invest local savings in US Dollar instrument. This fund has outperformed projections on returns.

SecTrust pioneered and was local adviser on the first global offering by a Nigerian bank through the issuance of Global Depositary Shares (GDS) to raise UD$50 million from the international Capital market. Afrinvest has acted as advisers on some of the largest and most significant transactions in the Nigerian capital market since 2005.

Afrinvest is one of the most trusted advisory firms in the domestic corporate finance market, pioneering major innovations and providing leadership in the Nigerian Securities market. The Firm has advised on numerous landmark transactions including the first Eurobond Issue by a Sub-Saharan Africa Corporate (outside South Africa); the first ever simultaneous merger and tender offer transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the largest ever listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Afrinvest has been ranked as a major Investment Research firm which is at the forefront of playing instrumental roles in the introduction of new financing products such as Eurobonds and Global Depository Receipts to Nigerian Companies. Mr. Obaseki is presently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the firm which won the Best Asset Management Firm in Nigeria (2014) Award by the Wealth & Finance International Magazine Finance Awards.

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