By Lucky Isibor
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the state governorship election held Saturday by the Returning Officer, Professor Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, on Sunday having polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closet rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 223,619 votes.
Briefing newsmen in Benin shortly after he was declared winner, Obaseki said the collective will of Edo people made it possible for him to triumph vowing to use his second term to making the state great again.
“The collective will of Edo people makes it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. We thank you.
“I reiterate my commitment to making Edo great again,” he said.
Obaseki thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for defending democracy and allowing INEC and security agencies to perform their constitutional functions without interference.
While thanking his teaming supporters, the governor described outcome of the election as voice of the people.
“INEC and the security agencies have shown Nigeria that indeed we are capable of conducting free, fair and credible election.
“I want to salute our teaming supporters who exhibit courage in the face of threat, intimidation and brutilisation,” he added.
Earlier, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who doubles as national chairman, PDP Governorship Campaign Council, thanked Edo people for the supporters given to the party.
Reacting to the the declaration of Governor Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the election, the All Progressives Party (APC) in Edo State alleged foul play in the September 19th Governorship election, but called on party members to stay calm while party leaders study the result and decide what is next. In a release by the APC Media Campaign Council, the party rejected the result, citing alleged strong arm tactics.
“Our people were arbitrarily arrested, many of the figures were fabricated,” said the terse statement, which the party said was only a preliminary reaction.
It further alleged illicit tampering with results, to shore up PDP numbers and mark down APC’s.
“Areas where we won, they cancelled them. They decreased the votes in areas we had advantage,” the party further claimed. “They rejected our results and jerked up theirs.”
Benin City, the Edo State capital and other major cities in the state erupted in jubilation after INEC announced the results of the election declaring Governor Godwin Obaseki as the winner chanting “Ogbane”, meaning Obaseki’s second term is complete.