Panafrican News Agency

Nigeria: Buhari says opposition victory in Edo State proves his commitment to fair polls

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – Reactions are trialing the declaration of Mr Godwin Obaseki of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of Saturday’s Governorship election in Edo State, Niger Delta region of Nigeria.


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  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 noting that Edo people have spoken.


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.


National Chairman of the leading opposition party, PDP, 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 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.”


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.”

-0- PANA MON/AR 20Sept2020