The Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike and chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election (middle), raising the hands of the re-elected Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki (right) and his deputy, Comrade Philip Shuaibu (left) at a press conference shortly after INEC declared Obaseki winner of the state’s governorship election yesterday at Benin City.
*Defeats APC’s Ize – Iyamu in his Ohrionmwo LGA
*Gov. salutes Edo people, says victory triumph over godfatherism
*Buhari congratulates Obaseki as Ize-Iyamu concedes victory
By Ezeocha Nzeh
Mixed reactions trailed the camps of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday, as the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the PDP’s Gov. Godwin Obaseki, winner of the Edo State governorship election.
The INEC Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Johnson Alalibo, while declaring results of the election, stated that Obaseki scored the highest votes in Saturday’s governorship election and “is hereby declared winner”.
The result of the election held in the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo state was declared on Sunday in Benin.
Contrary to expectation, there was no bye or supplementary election as promised by the INEC and security agencies who frustrated political jobbers that almost made elections in the country become a mere jamboree.
Declaring the PDP candidate winner, Prof. Alalibo said: “Godwin Obaseki of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared winner.”
According to him, Obaseki polled 307,955 votes to defeat his main rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 223,619 votes.
Jubilations and shout of Obaseki, 4 +4 rent the air by the PDP supporters who trooped to the INEC state headquarters along Auchi Road, Benin City, to monitor the final declaration of the results.
From the results, Obaseki won in 13 of the 18 LGAs and scored more than 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the local governments in the state, to satisfy the second constitutional requirement to be declared winner.
I would be recalled that Obaseki, then of the APC, defeated Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who ran on the ticket of PDP, during the 2016 governorship election.
Further breakdown of the declared results showed that the candidate of the APC, Ize-Iyamu, was defeated by the PDP in his local government, Orhiomwon.
INEC announced that the APC polled 10,458 votes, while PDP got 13,445 votes in Orhiomwon LGA.
Ize-Iyamu however, won in his Iguododo ward in Orhionmwon LGA.
Earlier, Obaseki’s running mate, Philip Shaibu, could not deliver his local government, Etsako-West. He was beaten by the APC in the LGA.
INEC’s result from Etsako-West showed that PDP secured 17,959 votes, while APC polled 26,140 votes.
Further distribution of registered voters in the three senatorial zones of the state shows that Edo-South, with seven LGAs, has the highest number of registered voters totalling 1,281, 414; Edo-North, 564,122; while the Central senatorial zone has 364,998 voters.
Detail breakdown of the election result LGA-by-LGA is reproduced below.
*Buhari congratulated Obaseki as Ize-Iyamu concedes victory
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, while congratulating the re-elected Gov. Obaseki, charged him to appreciate his victory at the poll by “showing grace and humility”.
The President, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, commended the electoral process that saw the INEC declaring Obaseki winner.
In the statement he said that “President Buhari, who reiterated his commitment to credible polls in the country, commended the election process in Edo State and reiterates commitment to free and fair elections,”
In congratulating Obaseki, the President was further quoted as urging him to “show grace and humility in victory.”
Buhari said: “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.”
Also, his closest rival Ize-Iyamu has concerted victory, saying its not a do-or-die affair as the Edo people have spoken.
Making his position known in his tweeter handle @Ize_osagie, he said: “Edo people has decided, We thank you all! Congratulations to the Opposition party! They have won! Election no be war. It’s time to work more harder for the next 4years. Congratulations.#EdoDecides2020 #EdoDecides #EdoElection
— Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu (@ize_osagie) September 20, 2020”.
Obaseki’s victory may have cast doubts on the political future of his former ally and sacked National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, as the Governor had while commending the Edo people for his re-election, described it as “triumph over godfatherism”.
He said, “Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation, and brutalisation.
“The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us, this is triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to Edo people.”
Oshiomhole, who disqualified Obaseki from seeking re-election when he was at the helm of affairs at the APC, single handed picked his anointed candidate, Ize–Iyamu, formerly of the PDP, to fly the APC flag, which forced Obaseki to decamp to the PDP.
*INEC shifts attention to the Ondo guber
Meanwhile, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in expressung appreciation over the successes at the election said his commission has shifted attention to how to make the governorship election in Ondo state another success story.
Yakubu, who spoke while winding down the INEC Situation Room on the Edo Governorship election at 2.20pm on Sunday ssid there is no respite as his attention has shifted to Ondo State, where the commission will in three weeks conduct another governorship election, adding that the commission will also conduct series of bye- election in 11 other states, three weeks after the Ondo governorship poll.
Prof Yakubu challenged the INEC staff who participate in the conduct of elections in the country to prove that the success in Edo was no fluke, but the standard in future elections.