Messages of felicitation have been pouring in for Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State following his re-election victory on Saturday September 19, 2020. Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu were declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC after defeating his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC with 307, 955 votes against 223, 619 votes.
In his congratulatory message, the President, Muhammadu Buhari commended the election process in the state, which led to Obaseki’s victory. The President urged him to show grace and humility in victory. Buhari 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.”
According to the President in a statement by Garba Shehu, his senior special assistant on media and publicity, “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, adding that “I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order”.
Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa told his closest neighbor that “It is heart-warming to see you re-emerge as Governor of Edo against all odds and I am grateful to the people of Edo for shunning the entreaties of retrogressive forces who were deviously-bent on subverting the wishes of the people.
“Let me also thank the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for being truly independent as required by the laws of our land. The most significant aspect of this victory is the peaceful outcome of the election as Edo people proved pundits wrong by ensuring that the elections were devoid of violence”.
Felicitating with the PDP on the victory, Okowa said, “let me also congratulate our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Rivers, Mr. Nyesom Wike and other members of the campaign Council for their efforts which led to the victory of the party in Edo.
“The brotherhood displayed by the Governors of the PDP and other party members towards the re-election of Obaseki is what the country needs to take the nation to greater heights in 2023. Going forward as a nation, we can only develop further if the people are allowed to choose their leaders at all levels without any hindrance. It is therefore a clarion call on INEC to continue to do the right thing as an unbiased umpire.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you my brother Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and your deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on your resounding re-election by the resilient people of Edo who displayed honour, dignity and courage”.
In his congratulatory message, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Uche Secondus, described the victory of Obaseki and his deputy as well deserved, stressing that it was a clear affirmation and demonstration of the people’s goodwill in appreciation of their outstanding performance in their first term.
In a statement by his special assistant on media, Ike Abonyi, Secondus praised the Edo people lavishly for standing up for democracy through their avowed determination to ensure that the will of the people and nobody else, prevailed in their state. “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”.
Secondus also noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the various security operatives significantly played by the rules, stating that this was reflected in the limited number of electoral cases.
According to him, last Saturday’s governorship election was far better than any previous elections conducted under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari and advised him to deepen our democracy by continuing this way.
“We are standing on the euphoria of this to urge the President to sign the amended Electoral Act into law and carry out further electoral reforms that will engender peace and less interference in our electoral process.
“Also, we salute the gallantry of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and it’s candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for providing healthy challenges”. Secondus charged the governor and his deputy to observe all the tenets of democracy and rule of law in the course of administering the state.
On his part, the 2019 Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi said in a statement from his media office on Sunday that the victory was deserving and a true reflection and wish of the good people of Edo state.
Signed by his media adviser, Valentine Obienyem, the statement said the former Anambra State governor saw the victory coming given the good record of performance of Obaseki in his first term.
According to him, “Democracy is when the people are allowed to determine who leads them after weighing the records of the candidates”. Obi charged Obaseki and his deputy to see their victory as a catalyst to do more for their people and also commended INEC, and others who played roles in the election for playing by the rules and urged them to continue in this direction for the sake of peace in Nigeria.
In a congratulatory message, erstwhile senate president, David Mark also congratulated Obaseki and his deputy for their victory.
In a statement by his media aide, Paul Mumeh, Mark said the victory was a triumph of the will of the people. According to him, the victory means freedom for the people and the enthronement of democratic culture and practice in the country. He said the overwhelming victory of the PDP candidate was a testimony of the people’s endorsement of good governance being demonstrated by the Obaseki/Philip Shaibu administration in the last four years in Edo State.
The former Senate President however told them to be magnanimous in victory by extending hands of fellowship to their opponents just as he urged them to spread social amenities to all parts of the state irrespective of political differences.
“The entire state is your constituency. Demonstrate leadership and magnanimity as always to all. Be steadfast and work hard as always to justify the mandate and trust of the citizens of Edo State”, Mark said. He also stated that the victory which came amid mudslinging must not be taken for granted.
Former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, in a statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu in Abuja, commended the people of Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the security agencies for “rising to the occasion” during the just-concluded election, describing the exercise as a huge relief given the “dwindling fortunes of the nation’s electoral process in recent years”.
He said: “I join other well meaning Nigerians to congratulate Governor Godwin Obaseki and the PDP on this well-deserved victory. While our electoral processes still leave much to be desired, I must say that compared to recent elections, the Edo State governorship poll has renewed the hope that we can get our elections right, given the conduct of the electorate, INEC, security agencies, and most of other stakeholders, which ensured a peaceful process and an outcome that reflected the will of the people.
“For emphasis, the Edo 2020 election showcased the beauty of democracy: the supremacy of the people’s will over the whims and caprices of any single man or woman, be it a godfather or godmother. And if there is a moral lesson to be learnt, it is also that no man can successfully play God, for God will always put men in their place”.
Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Sunday, congratulated Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki over his second term victory. Abaribe, in a statement by his media aide, Uchenna Awom, described Obasaki’s re-election as sweet, signal a new dawn and the ultimate end of godfatherism in Nigeria politics. He lauded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for its tenacity and resilience in the face of manifest intimidations.
Abaribe said the victory further confirmed power ultimately belongs to the people and “not to some phantom individuals who think they can play God and toy with the will and wishes of the people.
“Going forward, I believe that the Edo people through their overwhelming endorsement of Governor Obaseki and PDP sent the right signal across, affirming that never again should any political party succumb to the undemocratic machination of some few (persons) who like to play tin-god because of their supposedly rich pocket.
“This victory is a soothing balm not only for Edo people, but also for the entire country especially against the backdrop of the excruciating sufferings and hardship foisted on the people by the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led federal government,” Abaribe said.
Immediate past senate president, Bukola Saraki said the victory of Obaseki had several symbolic representations for Nigeria and her democracy. Saraki, in a statement from his media office in Abuja, said Obaseki’s victory represented the determination of the good people of Edo State to decide who governs them and to ensure their votes count at all times.
According to him, “The result of the Edo election represents the true wish of the people who stood firmly behind their Governor against power mongers who were determined to foist their choice on the people. It represents the will of the people to vote in free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. The people of Edo State who had sleepless nights in order to protect their votes, those who rejected the cash being thrown around to buy their votes, and the intimidation to force them to compromise their belief, deserve our praise. Therefore, my congratulations go to all the people of Edo State.
“Let me give kudos to the leaders and governors in our party, the PDP, for working together to achieve this victory. The PDP leaders and members in Edo State who whole-heartedly accepted Governor Obaseki since he joined the party and co-operated with him to bring about this victory deserve to be appreciated. The result of the just-concluded election also represents the fact that our people actually desire to be governed by a truly democratic government headed by those they genuinely voted for.
“It represents the fact that our security and electoral officials can conduct free and fair elections if they have the right atmosphere. We are happy that throughout this election we did not see the military brutalizing the people or security officials supervising the snatching of ballot boxes and vandalisation of votes. Thus, the military and other security agencies deserve commendation for this successful poll”.