I owe my victory to people’s collective will -Obaseki

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Obaseki: I owe my victory to people’s collective will

EDO State Governor Godwin Obaseki was at the weekend reelected.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate polled 307,955 votes to defeat All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who scored 223,619 votes.

Twelve other parties fielded candidates in the election but showed no strength at all. Their results are as follows: AA – 107, ADC – 1,370, ADP – 2,374, APGA – 177, APM – 57, APP – 78, LP – 267, NNPP – 258, NRM – 573, SDP – 323, YPP – 132 and ZLP – 117.

According to the results announced by the Returning officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, Obaseki won in 13 of the 18 Local Government Councils namely: Orhionmwon, Igueben, Owan West, Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha, Esan West, Esan Central, Esan South East, Esan North East, Uhumwode, Egor, Ovia North East and Ovia South West.

Ize-Iyamu won in five – all in the northern senatorial district,- Akoko Edo, Etsako East, Etsako West, Etsako Central and Owan East.

There were 550,242 votes cast and 12,835 rejected ballots.

INEC collation officer for Orhionmwon Council said results for Ward 7, with 7,600 votes and Ward 8 with 7,896 votes, totalling 15,496 votes, were cancelled for irregularities, but APC agents  protested. The returning officer promised to look into the complaints.

The Collation Officer for Etsako Central said an INEC official was shot and another INEC staff member was injured on the face.

He noted that both of them were battling with their lives in an hospital.

At the end of vote tally, the APC agent declined to sign the result form.

The PDP agent, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, a member of the House of Representatives, hailed INEC and security agencies for doing a good job to strengthen democracy.

He noted that everybody was a winner and urged all Edo residents to join hands with Obaseki to move the state forward.

Immediately after the announcement of the final results, Obaseki’s teeming supporters and PDP members jubilated on the streets, especially at the strategic Ring Road, near the Oba of Benin palace; the Government House, Benin; singing, drumming, dancing and chanting four plus four, indicating another four years for the governor.

Obaseki hailed Edo people and supporters for their display of immense courage and support.

He expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, INEC, security agencies and others who participated in the election

Obaseki said: “The great People of Edo State have spoken. They have spoken loud and clear. We thank God Almighty and give him all the glory for this victory.

”Thank you, President Muhammadu Buhari, for defending our democracy and allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to perform their constitutional functions without interference.

”INEC and the security services have shown to Nigerians and the world that they are capable of conducting free and credible elections

“The great people of Edo State have spoken. I want to thank Governor Wike of Rivers State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and my brother, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, for standing by me. I want to thank my party, the PDP, not only for giving me the umbrella when I needed it most, but for the hard work which has brought me back to office.

”Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for this triumph over godfatherism.

“I am eternally grateful to my party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and my brother governors, not only for giving me the umbrella during my political storm, but for the hard work which has brought me back to office.

“Our success has reinforced my belief that there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people, if we pull forces together and collectively call on God for support.”

“I reiterate that working with my Deputy, Philip Shaibu, we are committed to Making Edo great Again. Thank you for your support,” he added.

During the news conference at the Government House attended by some PDP governors, Wike, the chairman of the National Campaign Council, said: “Edo people have spoken that we do not tie our fate to one man. The results of the election show that all your efforts are not in vain.

“I want to thank my brother governors of Oyo, Delta and Enugu states for their presence here (in Benin) and others who are not here, for their support.”

But, the Edo APC has rejected the results of the  election in the state, citing strong-arm tactics.

It declared that there was foul play during the election, while insisting that the results were skewed in favour of Obaseki.

Edo APC called on members of the party in the Southsouth state and all lovers of democracy to stay calm, while leaders of the party would study the results and decide on the next line of action.

APC through an online statement by the Chairman of its Media Campaign Council, Prince John Mayaki, maintained that  Pastor Ize-Iyamu, was robbed of victory.

It said: “Our people were arbitrarily arrested, many of the figures were fabricated. There was illicit tampering with results, to shore up PDP’s numbers and mark down APC’s.

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

“There was arbitrary arrest of local party members, who could have resisted the outrage, while Obaseki was busy diverting attention with false alarm.

“Obaseki shouted that he was being rigged out and blamed the Independent  National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the initial stage, but that was to divert attention from the evil going on in the field.”

Edo APC also thanked members of the party and the teeming supporters of Ize-Iyamu for their support and steadfastness, which it said would never be taken for granted.


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