Nigeria: #EdoDecides2020 - Obaseki 'Wins' Edo Governorship Election

PDP members celebrate Godwin Obaseki's nomination to stand in the Edo State governorship elections
20 September 2020

Governor Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, has scored the highest votes in Saturday's Edo State governorship election.

The result of the election held in all Edo's 18 local governments was declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday in Benin, the state capital.

INEC is, however, yet to formally declare Mr Obaseki the winner of the election.

Mr Obaseki polled 314,676 votes to defeat his main rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who had 223,619 votes.

Mr Obaseki also won in 13 of the 18 local government areas and thus scored more than 25 per cent of votes cast in two-thirds of the local governments in the state to satisfy the second constitutional requirement to be declared governor.

Mr Obaseki won his first election in 2016 as a candidate of the APC, principally supported by Adam Oshiomole, the immediate past governor and former chairman of the APC. Mr Ize-Iyamu was then the candidate of the PDP.

But in the course of his term as the governor, Mr Obaseki became estranged with Mr Oshiomole, causing an epic political battle now capped off with his victory today.

The battle contributed to the fall of Mr Oshiomole as the chairman of the APC. But Mr Obaseki also could not get that party's ticket and he had to switch to the PDP with his deputy, Phillip Shaibu.

Days ahead of the election, APC leader and former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, had in a recorded broadcast made an "appeal" to the Edo electorate to "reject" Mr Obaseki, whom he dismissed as having no sound democratic credential.

Messrs Tinubu and Oshiomole are close allies.

Mr Obaseki won 13 Local Government Areas, including his home Oredo LGA, which is the largest. Mr Ize-Iyamu, on the other hand, picked the remaining five LGAs, including his main backer Mr Oshiomole's Etsako West.

Mr Ize-Iyamu lost his home LGA of Orhionmwon.

Saturday's election was not without incidents of ballot snatching, over voting technical glitches affecting card readers, and violence reported in a few polling units by returning officers during the collation exercise.

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These incidents caused the cancellation of votes in some polling units.

A total of 14 parties contested the election but PDP and APC are the main parties.

The election was conducted with compliance to some COVID-19 protocol as officials were seen conducting thermal checks and requiring voters to use face masks before voting. However, there was no social distancing anywhere.

APC PDP

Esan North East 6,556 13,579

Esan Central 6,719 10,794

Igueben 5,199 7,870

Ikpoba Okha 18,218 41,030

Uhunmwonde 5,972 16,741

Egor 10,202 27,621

Owan East 19,295 14,762

Owan West 11,193 11,485

Esan South East 9,237 10,565

Etsako West 26,140 17,959

Oredo 18,365 43,498

Ovia North East 9,907 16,987

Esan West 7,189 17,434

Akoko Edo 22,963 20,101

Etsako East 17,011 10,668

Etsako Central 8,359 7,478

Orhiaonmwon 10,458 13,445

Ovia South West 10,636 12,659

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