Reactions are trialing the declaration of Mr Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of Saturday’s Governorship election in Edo State.
Obaseki polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 223,619 votes.
In returning the incumbent Governor as the winner of the election, the Returning Officer (RO) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared that Mr. Obaseki polled the highest number of votes as mandated by law.
According to results collated in Edo State’s 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs), PDP, won in 13 while APC won in five.
Already, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, in a tweet, conceded defeat and congratulated Mr Obaseki while noting that Edo people have spoken.
Governor of Kano State and chairman of the APC National Campaign Council for Edo State in the Governorship election, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, quickly jetted out of Benin moments after INEC declared Governor Obaseki as winner of the election.
Ganduje was spotted with his entourage at the Benin Airport as he left with a private jet on Sunday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, without mentioning the winner or his party, “congratulated the winner and urged him to show grace and humility in victory.”
In a statement by Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, President Buhari “commended the election process in Edo State which led to the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
According to the President, “my commitment to free and fair elections is firm, because without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak.
“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.
“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”
He commended the people of Edo State, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, congratulated Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu on their “well deserved victory,” saying that it is a clear affirmation and demonstration of the people’s goodwill in appreciation of the outstanding performance of the Governor and his deputy in their first term.
The National Chairman praised the Edo people lavishly for standing up for democracy through their avowed determination to ensure that the will of the people and nobody else prevailed in their state. He added that “Edo people by their dogged display on Saturday were determined to take their collective destiny in their own hands and for this PDP is proud of them.”
While noting that INEC and the various security operatives significantly played by the rules and this was reflected in the limited number of electoral cases, Prince Secondus stated that last Saturday’s governorship election is far better than any previous elections conducted under the watch of President Buhari and advised him to deepen our democracy by continuing this way.
“We are standing on the euphoria of this to urge the President to sign the amended electoral act into law and carry out further electoral reforms that will engender peace and less interference in our electoral process. Also, we salute the gallantry of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and it’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for providing healthy challenges.”
The PDP boss also has positive words for the international community for their vital interests in the country’s democracy and urged them not to relent until the people’s will continues to prevail in all electoral circumstances.
The National Chairman was also full of commendation for PDP members across the nation for their support particularly the Chairman and members of the party’s National campaign council, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, forum of PDP, Governors, members of the Board of Trustees, BOT, members of National Working Committee, NWC, and Civil society groups.
He wished “the victors successful tenure,” charging them to observe all the tenets of democracy and rule of law in the course of administering the State.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Vice Presidential Candidate of PDP, Mr Peter Obi, also congratulated the Governor elect of Edo State and his deputy for their victory, saying that it was “deserving and a true reflection and wish of the good people of Edo State.”
The former Anambra state Governor said that he saw the victory coming given the good record of performance of Governor Obaseki in his first term, stating that “democracy is when the people are allowed to determine who leads them after weighing the records of the candidates.”
Obi charged Obaseki and his deputy to see their victory as a catalyst to do more for their people.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and others who played roles in the election for playing by the rules and urged them to continue in this direction the for sake of peace in Nigeria.