Nigeria: Edo Governorship - How Obaseki Defeated Ize-Iyamu

21 September 2020

Abuja, Benin, Ilorin, Kano, Sokoto, Makurdi, Abakaliki, Yola, Calabar — Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was on Sunday declared winner of the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Obaseki polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closet rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 223,619 votes.

The Returning Officer for the governorship election, Akpofure Rim-rukeh, announced that having satisfied the requirement of the law in meeting the 25 per cent of the two-third majority votes of the local government areas of the state and having the margin of lead higher than cancelled votes, "Godwin Obaseki, is hereby declared winner and returned elected."

Governor Obaseki defeated Ize-Iyamu in 13 out of the 18 LGAs of the state.

The re-elected governor won in Igueben, Esan Central, Esan North-East, Ikpoba-Okha, Uhunmwonde, Egor, Owan West, Esan South-East, Ovia North-East, Oredo, Esan West, Ovia South-West, including Orhionmwon where his main opponent comes from.

Ize-Iyamu won in Owan East, Etsako West, Akoko-Edo, Etsako Central and Etsako East.

It would be recalled that Obaseki was elected for his first term of four years in 2016 on the APC platform but recently left the party for PDP, following his disqualification by the APC governorship screening committee.

The disqualification came after a long political battle with his estranged benefactor, predecessor, and former National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

Shortly after being announced as winner, hundreds of residents thronged the streets of Benin City in celebration and others converged on Ramat Park in Ikpoba Okha.

Meanwhile, reactions have trailed the victory of Governor Obaseki.

Buhari lauds Edo election, advises Obaseki

President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the election process in Edo State which led to the victory of Governor Obaseki as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, Buhari congratulated the winner and urged him to show grace and humility in victory.

The president, while reacting to the outcome of the election 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.

"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 lauded the people of Edo State, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.

Godfatherism has ended in Nigerian politics - Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said the outcome of the Edo governorship election is an indication that godfatherism has ended in Nigerian politics.

Atiku, while reacting to the victory of his party's candidate in a statement, said there was a new wind of democratic change blowing across Nigeria.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general election, also asked the people of Ondo State to vote out the APC-led government in the state on October 10, 2020.

Nigeria has disappointed those who predicted 'massive disruption' - SGF

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the governorship election in Edo State.

"Nigeria has disappointed those who predicted massive disruption. The elections went well but for few hiccups," Mustapha said.

He said the electoral body did fairly well and could improve on its performance.

Gov Obaseki lauds Buhari

Governor Obaseki, in his acceptance speech after he was declared winner, lauded President Buhari for defending democracy.

He said the President allowed INEC and the security services to perform their constitutional functions without interference, adding that INEC and the security agents had shown Nigerians and the world that they were capable of conducting free, fair and credible elections.

The governor, who said that the collective will of Edo people made it possible for him and the state to triumph over godfatherism, added that the victory had reinforced his belief that "there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people."

Our staff must prove that Edo polls not fluke - INEC chair

INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has challenged all INEC staff and participants in the conduct of polls in the country to prove that the success in Edo was not a fluke but the standard in the conduct of elections.

He expressed appreciation to all those who worked to make the governorship election a success.

He spoke yesterday while winding down the Situation Room on the Edo Governorship election.

Buhari has shown that credible election is possible - Oyegun

A former APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said with the governorship election in Edo State, President Buhari has shown that credible election is possible in Nigeria.

Odigie-Oyegun, while reacting on the outcome of the election, lauded the President, Edo people, and all those who contributed to making the election free, fair, peaceful and credible.

He said Edo APC would bounce back in subsequent elections as it had learnt lesson from past mistakes.

Obaseki's victory has symbolic meanings - Saraki

A former Senate president, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has said the victory of Obaseki has several symbolic representations for Nigeria and its democracy.

In a statement by his Media Office, Saraki said the victory represented the determination of the good people of Edo State to decide who governs the state and to ensure their votes count at all times. He commended President Buhari for keeping the military out of the election, saying that the outcome "represents the fact that our security and electoral officials can conduct free and fair elections if they have the right atmosphere."

It's triumph of democracy over imposition - PDP govs

The PDP Governors' Forum has congratulated Governor Obaseki on his victory at last Saturday's governorship election in Edo State.

Governor of Sokoto State and Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said in a statement yesterday that the outcome of the election was a triumph of democracy over imposition.

The forum said the election had rekindled the hope of Nigerians that free and fair election was still possible in Nigeria.

APC campaign council rejects results, alleges foul play

Meanwhile, the APC in Edo State has alleged foul play in the governorship election.

The party, however, thanked its members and called on them to remain calm while its leaders studied the result and took a decision on what to do next.

A statement signed by the chairman of the APC Media Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, said the party rejected the result, citing alleged strong-arm tactics.

Mayaki said: "Our people were arbitrarily arrested while many of the figures were fabricated.

"Areas where we won, they cancelled them. They decreased the votes in areas we had advantage. They rejected our results and jerked up theirs."

He said Obaseki's allegation that he was being rigged out at the initial stage was to divert attention from the evil being perpetrated in the field by the PDP.

PDP jubilates over victory

However, the PDP has congratulated its candidate on his re-election for a second term.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, implored President Buhari to continue in what he called "this newfound spirit" of ensuring that the people were allowed to freely choose their leaders at all elections.

The party also asked INEC to guarantee credible governorship election in Ondo state on October 10, 2020, and the October 31, 2020 legislative by-elections in eight states of the federation.

APC has a great lesson to learn - Ganduje's aide

Salihu Tanko Yakassai, the Special Adviser to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on Media, said the outcome of Edo election has great lessons for the APC not just in Edo but also at the centre.

Yakassai, on his certified Twitter handle @dawisu, said: "But most importantly the outcome has some insight into the future of the party as well, let's look inward and outward and do some soul searching for our survival,"

His boss was the chairman of the APCs campaign team for the election that saw the defeat of the party at the polls.

I'm sad Obaseki didn't secure victory on APC platform - Edo factional chair

Factional chairman of the APC in Edo State Aselm Ojezua has expressed mixed feelings that Governor Obaseki didn't get re-elected on the platform of the party

"I received this news with mixed feelings. I am sad that the governor didn't secure this victory on the platform of APC,"

Ojezua said in Benin while reacting to the victory of Obaseki.

PDP Senate, Reps caucuses congratulate Obaseki

The Senate Minority Caucus has congratulated Governor Obaseki over his victory in the governorship election in Edo State. In a statement by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the caucus said the victory signals a new dawn and the ultimate end of godfatherism in Nigerian politics.

Also, a former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, described the Edo election exercise as a huge relief given what he described as the "dwindling fortunes of the nation's electoral process in recent years".

Similarly, the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives also congratulated Governor Obaseki on his victory at the governorship election.

The caucus, in a statement by its leader, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) said the victory was a reflection of the people's will to elect a credible leader that would serve their interest not the interests of a few.

APC loss, masses revolution against injustice - Okorocha

A founding member of the APC and former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, said that Saturday's Edo governorship election, where the APC lost to incumbent Governor Obaseki, was a masses' revolution against injustice.

Okorocha said he would not congratulate the PDP but the people of Edo State who stood up against injustice.

Also, a former governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Imo State, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, said what happened on Saturday was not unexpected as it was bad that some people wanted voters to accept a candidate they never wanted.

Also reacting, a senior member of the APC, Chief Sam Nkire, described the outcome of the Edo State governorship election as victory for democracy.

Chief Nkire, who is a member of the National Caucus of the APC said, said that both the PDP and the APC had a democratic lesson to learn from President Buhari's patriotism and transparency when it comes to electioneering conducts.

Muideen Olaniyi, Abbas Jimoh, Saawua Terzungwe, Abdullateef Salau, Balarabe Alkassim, Usman A. Bello, Ismail Adebayo, Habibu Umar Aminu, Abubakar Auwal, Hope Abah Emmanuel, Nabob Ogbonna, Kabiru R. Anwa & Eyo Charles

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