Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senate minority leader on Sunday, September 20, 2020, congratulated Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki over his second term victory.
Also former Senate Presidents, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and David Mark, as well as ex-Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, lauded Obaseki’s 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.
He said the victory further confirmed power ultimately belongs to the people and “not to some fanthom 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 accross, 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.
On his part, 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 the state and to ensure their votes count at all times.
“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 polls.
“Also, we saw how the INEC officials maturely handled the complaints of the APC agent who sought to create confusion at the state collation centre when the Orihomwon Local Government result was about to be declared. The INEC and its officials deserve to be commended for their neutrality in this election.
“We can see that the result represents realistic figures from one local government area to the other. No case of outlandish figures being reeled out.
“That is also a sign of some level of credibility in the process. It is for the above reasons that I have to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping the military out of this election and for giving the instructions that led to the apparent neutrality of members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other security officials in the entire process,” Saraki said.
He further urged Obaseki to see his victory as a charge by the people of Edo State to him to intensify his focus on development of the state and the welfare of its people.
“The Edo election result is a victory for our country, her people and democracy. We have shown that the glory of the country is more valuable to the citizens than the wish of a tiny power clique”, he added.
Mark also congratulated Obaseki and his Deputy Philip Shaibu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the victory at the Saturday’s gubernatorial election saying
Mark, in a statement by his Media aide, Paul Mumeh, 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 is 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 added that the victory which came amid mudslinging must not be taken for granted.
He said: “The mandate given to you by the people through their votes is a direct investment that must of a necessity attract dividends for them”.
Such dividends, according to Mark include security for the people, gainful employment, infrastructure development in health, education and social services.
He enjoined the citizens to cooperate and support the government by being law abiding at all times.
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.”
He described the exercise as a huge relief given the “dwindling fortunes of the nation’s electoral process in recent years”.
The lawmaker, who was in Edo to monitor the election, equally added that the Edo polls had proved, once again, that no man could effectively play God.
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”.
Ekweremadu enjoined Obaseki to see his popular mandate as both an approval of his stewardship in the last four years and a call to lead Edo land on the path of greater peace, prosperity, and an all-round development.
Source: The Nation