As the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, all eyes were on Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole to see how well the party would perform at last Saturday’s presidential and national assembly polls. This is particularly because of his boastfulness and self-confidence to deliver the state to the president, Muhammadu Buhari. Though he acquitted himself, winning his polling unit and senatorial district in last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, he, however, failed to deliver his state to the president. He lost the state to the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Results showed that the PDP defeated APC with a margin of 7,881 votes. While the PDP garnered 275,681, the APC trailed the opposition party with 267,800 votes. Oshiomhole, however, walloped the PDP in his Etsako West local government area with31,336 votes to the opposition’s 11,395 votes. Unfortunately, for Governor Godwin Obasheki, it was a calamitous outing as he not only lost his polling unit to the opposition, he also lost his Oredo local government area of origin, as well as lost in two other local governments in the Benin metropolis – Egor and Ikpoba-Okha.
Ironically, Obaseki had promised to deliver to the president, 1,000,000 votes. Oshiomhole had also boasted that the state would deliver massive votes for the president. This promise has become a mirage, and indeed a nightmare for the national chairman and the governor. No doubt, this is one defeat that would be most humbling for the national chairman of the APC.
From the result announced, APC scored 21,496 in Oredo local government as against PDP’s 35,841. In Egor, PDP led APC with 23,556 to 12,482; and Ikpoba-Okha with 30,122 to APC’s 12,482 for the presidential election. In the national assembly election, both parties have picked one senatorial seat each. While the APC won a seat in Oshiomhole’s Edo North senatorial district with the re-election of incumbent senator, Francis Alimikhena, the PDP’s incumbent senator, Clifford Ordia also retained his seat in Edo Central. As at the time of filing this report, the result for Edo South senatorial seat was still being awaited. The PDP however believed that the delay in releasing the winner of the Edo South senatorial seat was to save the face of the governor by allegedly trying to manipulate the figures in favour of the APC candidate, Patrick Obahiagbon. The party had earlier in the day raised the alarm that the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, was under severe pressure to cancel already declared results in Ikpoba-Okha and Egor local government areas by Oshiomhole and Obaseki and called on the national chairman of INEC to call him to order. Uncomfortable with the delay in announcing the Edo South senatorial district result, Dan Osi Orbih, state PDP chairman, warned against tampering with the results, noting that all the agents and stakeholders were in possession of the results from all the units in the senatorial district, and as such, are now public knowledge.
Both parties however suffered major losses in Edo South with two incumbents losing out in their Federal constituencies. While Gabriella Omosede Igbinedion, daughter of prominent Benin chief and multi-millionaire business mogul, Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion lost re-election to represent the Ovia Federal constituency to Denis Idahosa, the APC’s Johnson Agbonayima suffered a devastating blow losing the Egor/Ikpoba-Okha Federal constituency seat to Jude Ise-Idehen, a former member of the state House of Assembly.