Abuja — The incumbent governor of Edo State and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for the Edo state governorship election, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, has been re-elected for another four years as the governor of the state.
Comrade Oshiomhole scored a total of 477,478 votes to defeat his closest rival, Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who pulled a total of 144,235 votes while the All Nigeria Peoples Party's candidate (ANPP), Solomon Edebri, scored 3,642 in an election which took place Saturday July 14, 2012.
Declaring the result of the election today, the returning officer, Godwin Oshodin Osayuike, the vice- chancellor of University of Benin (UNIBEN) for the governorship election, said Oshiomhole won all the 18 local government areas in the state with a landslide victory.
"I Professor Osayuike Oshodin, the returning officer for the July 14 governorship election. Having satisfied the law of the electoral act, I hereby declared Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as the winner of the election," he said.
Victory parade in the rain
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Oshiomhole defied an early morning rain and embarked on a victory parade in the streets Benin.
At Ring Road, Oshiomhole mounted a jeep where he addressed people, who thronged the streets of Benin to celebrate the victory.
Mr Thomas Okosun, the Edo Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for not interfering in the just concluded governorship election in the state.
Okosun in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Benin also commended INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega for conducting a free and fair election.
He said that the President had lived up to his words, adding that had the two interfered, the election would have been won by the opposition.
"With this election, the President has indeed demonstrated that he is a man of his words and Nigerians can trust him too.
"ACN's victory today is a victory for Nigeria's democracy and gradual liberation from the era of dictatorship."
The chairman noted however that INEC still needs to improve on its operations, especially in producing accurate voters register, provision of logistics and the distribution of election materials.
"In all I give God the glory and I thank the people of Edo State for their support and show of love and solidarity for the governor and ACN.
PDP will react soon - Onolememen
The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, has said that it is up to PDP and its candidate in the Edo governorship election to react to the outcome of the contest.
"As an Edo citizen, I have performed my duty in the election by voting", Onolememen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in reaction to the re-election of Gov. Adams Oshiomhole.
"The election has been concluded and I am already out of Edo, returning to Abuja. The candidate and the party will speak appropriately on the outcome of the election," the minister said.
Also, the Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr Matthew Urhokhide, said, "we want to see how we can first take a closer look at the field results before making an official statement."
Jubilating in the rain
Residents and supporters of the ACN in Benin defied the rain to celebrate the victory of the party.
The party secretariat at Airport Road was taken over by jubilant supporters seeing chanting victory songs and dancing to express their joy.
Mr Johnson Okoduwa, one of the ACN supporters, said: "I do not know how to express my happiness. That is why I have chosen to come out even inside this rain to celebrate.
"It has not been easy since the campaign started and up till now, God has done it again for the people of Edo.
"God will not allow Edo to return to the dark days again. Are you not seeing the roads, Oshio Baba has done it for us?", he said
According to him, even a blind man can walk all by himself through the major roads in Benin.
"As an Okada man I have withdrawn my children from private to public schools and the money am making is now enough for us to feed", he added.
Miss Adesuwa Godwin said: "my sister, please allow me to finish dancing before I will answer your question,
"You are supposed to be dancing instead of asking us questions. Are you not from Edo? If you are not, please join us to dance, we are all one."
In Auchi residents trooped to the streets in jubilation to mark the victory.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the town reports that residence of the area occupied major streets dancing and waving the flag of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in celebration.
Some of the residents trooped to beer parlours offering free drinks and food to celebrate what some of them termed as a major mile-stone in the politics of the state.
Alhaji Usman Shagadi, Deputy Chairman of the ACN in the state described the victory as the people's endorsement of the good work done by the governor.
"I am delighted; Oshiomhole worked for the state and no amount of money could have persuaded the people to vote against him.
"This is our own way of compensating him for a job well done."
The member representing Etsako Federal Constituency, Alhaji Abubakar Momoh, said the victory was "a battle well fought".
He said the victory had put to an end the divisive politics of ethnicity in the state and prayed that the entire country would learn from the Edo election.
Momoh commended INEC for conducting one of the freest elections in the country, saying it should serve as a lesson to politicians to always put the peoples' interest ahead of any other consideration.
"If every election will be conducted like this, Nigeria will be among the Nations where credible elections are conducted.
"This also shows that any political office holder who does not perform will be voted out of office as people are more conscious of the performance of politicians while in office," Momoh said.
NAN reports that chieftains of the PDP in the area declined comment saying they were awaiting directives from the state office.
PDP agent congratulates Oshiomhole
Mr Martin Osakwe, the agent of Peoples Democratic Party (NAN) in Edo, has congratulated Gov. Adams Oshiomhole (ACN) for his re-election.
Osakwe said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Sunday that "as a person, I congratulate the declared winner. The party hierarchy will make a formal statement."
Osakwe commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a job well done and the security agents for their work in the election.
Meanwhile, residents of Benin City defied the morning rain and came into the streets in large numbers to jubilate over the re-election of the governor.
NAN reports that jubilant crowds held brooms, the symbol of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), dancing and sweeping the streets.
Motorcyclists, popularly called Okada riders, also displayed brooms as they made brisk businesses major streets of the city, shouting 'Oshio Baba.'