• Hails Buhari as father of democracy
Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin, Tony John, Port Harcourt and Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Edo Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for rising above partisan politics by allowing the will of the people to prevail in the just concluded Edo State governorship election.
He spoke when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented him certificate of return following his declaration as winner of the September 19 governorship election in the state.
The certificate was presented to the governor and his running mate, Philip Shaibu by Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, national commissioner coordinating Edo, Rivers and Bayelsa states in Benin.
The governor, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes to defeat Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with 223, 619 votes.
Obaseki said: “I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the part he played in ensuring a free, fair and credible election. He will be remembered as the father of democracy in Nigeria. He had a choice to ensure his party was declared winner but insisted that the right thing be done.”
Obaseki urged members of the opposition party, the APC, to join hands with his administration to move the state forward.
“I use this opportunity to reach out to our brothers on the other side of the divide as we are one family in the pursuit to provide public good for our citizens. The election shows that they trust us more now to provide leadership. It doesn’t mean the opposition parties don’t have a role to play.”
He said: “I use this opportunity to extend the hands of fellowship to my brother, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his other colleagues in the APC as well as other parties to join hands with us to move Edo forward.
“I call on Adams Oshiomhole that the fight is over and he should come and join in building the house which he was part of in laying the foundation. We have no malice but only disagree on the approach in moving Edo forward.”
He commended the leadership of INEC for their unbiased role and the commission’s National Chairman’s ability to withstand pressure as an umpire.
Similarly, Obaseki praised the leadership of the PDP for its tenacity and doggedness in ensuring the party got victory and the paramount Benin monarch for his fatherly role.
“I also thank the Benin Monarch, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, for his fatherly role in ensuring that the election was peaceful. I thank Edo people and clergymen for their prayers and support towards ensuring a successful election. I thank God for helping Edo State conduct an election, which many predicted would be bloody and characterised by violence, but God stepped in and made it peaceful,” he added.
The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers states, Mrs. Agbamuche-Mbu said the presentation of certificate of return was in fulfilment of the statutory obligation of the commission as required by the electoral law.
Those who can destroy our democracy
In a related development, Governor Obaseki said Oshiomhole and Bola Tinubu constitute a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
Speaking on ARISE TV, Obaseki said if nothing is done to clip the wings of Tinubu and Oshiomhole, they would destroy the country’s democracy.
“The challenge with people like Oshiomhole and Ahmed Tinubu is that if they do not accept and change their style and attitude, they pose a big danger to our democracy because they are extra-constitutional players,” Obaseki said.
“They constituted themselves into what they say they are without any constitutional responsibilities and try to overlord themselves over people who have constitutional authority and if we allow them to continue it will destroy our democracy.”
Oba of Benin urges support
The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, yesterday, has congratulated Governor Obaseki for emerging victorious.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Secretary, Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor.
“On behalf of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin, the Benin Traditional Council wishes to congratulate His Excellency, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, on his re-election for a second term in office.
“As His Royal Majesty said on numerous occasions, the Benin Throne is non-partisan that on election day let the people speak because the voice of the people is the voice of God,” he said.
The Oba commended President Buhari, the National Peace Commission headed by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), INEC and the security agencies for their roles played in ensuring free, fair and credible election.
The royal father urged all citizens to support the governor in his developmental strides in other to take Edo State to the next level just as he said the palace was grateful to the Almighty God and the royal ancestors for granting their prayers for a peaceful election.
Victory marks watershed in Nigerian politics – Odigie-Oyegun
Former national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has also congratulated Obaseki.
In a statement issued on yesterday, the former governor of Edo State said: “Please accept my deepest congratulations, Mr. Governor on your re-election as Governor of our great Edo State.
“You and your exemplary Deputy have shown that with good work and principled leadership, the ills of overbearing and egocentric politicking in our nation can be overcome.”
He noted: “Your very significant victory marks a watershed in Edo and indeed Nigerian politics and so places additional responsibilities on your shoulders.”
“I wish you and your Deputy four more years of inspired and productive leadership of our people who have reposed so much confidence in you,” Odigie-Oyegun added.
Outcome of Edo election, triumph of democracy – Wike
Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the outcome of the election would be recorded in history as a triumph of democracy.
Governor Wike stated this yesterday, when members of the Wike Solidarity Movement (WSM) paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The leadership and members of the WSM drawn from the 23 local government areas had embarked on an Edo election cictory rally in the state capital.
The rally was also to celebrate Governor Wike for the role he played in securing victory for Governor Godwin Obaseki.
It took off from the Kaduna Street junction of the Port Harcourt-Aba expressway and terminated at the Government House Gate.
Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Chukwuemeka Woke, received them on behalf of Wike.
“God crowned our efforts with good success and we are grateful for the solidarity we have received since we returned from Edo State.
“I am grateful to Rivers people for their prayers, support, and other levels of contribution.
“The outcome of election is not only a victory for the people of Edo State, but also the South-South region and the entire country.”
Director-General of WSM, Sudor Nwiyor, said they embarked on the victory rally in acknowledgment of the outcome of the Edo election.
Wike, SouthSouth defender – Obuah
Meanwhile, the immediate past PDP Chairman in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, has applauded Governor Wike for putting up a spirited fight to ensure undisputed victory for the party.
Obuah said for using Governor Wike to champion the PDP victory in Edo amid stiff opposition and threats, God has again demonstrated that Wike’s victory in 2019 Rivers governorship election was for the liberation of not only State, but also for the entire South South Region from the shackles of slavery and captivity.