Jubilations on Sunday greeted the declaration of Godwin Obaseki as the governor-elect following Saturday’s Edo State election.
Mr Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission having polled 307,955 to defeat his main rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, who had 223,619 votes.
Mr Obaseki had won his first election in 2016 as the candidate of the APC, principally supported by Adams Oshiomhole, the immediate past governor and former chairman of the APC. Mr Ize-Iyamu was then the candidate of the PDP.
Mr Obaseki alongside his colleagues, Nyesom Wike and Ifeanyi Okowa of Rivers and Delta respectively, and many other supporters, including Tony Aziegbemi, the state chairman of PDP, danced to the Government House conference where he formally accepted his victory.
Addressing journalists, Mr Wike said the efforts of all those who worked for the success of the party in the state were not wasted.
in an apparent jibe at Mr Oshiomhole, the governor of Rivers State said Mr Obaseki’s re-election has finally nailed godfatherism in the state.
Mr Wike said, “All our efforts are not in vain. My brother has been declared the winner of the 2020 governorship election in Edo State. Let me thank my colleagues, the governor of Delta State, Oyo State, and all other people who served in the campaign council, I do not know how to thank them. I also thank the governor of Edo State for giving us the necessary support that led to this victory.
“A few hours ago we were here to brief you on what was going on and thank God, thereafter, the announcement came. We also thank all those who worked in the campaign council in Edo, we want to formally thank all of you. Let me now formally welcome the newest governor of Edo, the man who God used to fight godfatherism.
“If for nothing, we have achieved the fact that there is nothing called godfatherism again in Edo politics. Edo people have spoken and they have said their destiny cannot be in one man’s hand and that was what they did yesterday. We want to thank him for putting himself to be used to fight for the interest of the Edo people. I congratulate you and your deputy.”
An elated Mr Obaseki thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing INEC and security agencies to carry out their constitutional duties without interference.
Mr Obaseki said, “The great people of Edo State have spoken and they have spoken loud and clear. We thank God Almighty and give him all the glory for this victory. We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for defending our democracy and allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security services to perform their constitutional functions without interference.
“The security services and INEC have shown Nigerians that they are capable of conducting free and credible elections. Nothing will fail me in saluting the teeming supporters who supported me in the face of intimidation and brutalisation.
“The collective will of the Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. I thank my brother governor, not only for giving us the umbrella but for the hard work. This has reinforced on me that there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people if we pull forces together and collectively call on God.”
He pledged to work with his deputy for the development of the state.
“I reiterate to all of you today that working with my deputy, Philip Shaibu, we are committed to making Edo great again. I thank you all for your support,” Mr Obaseki said.