From Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja, Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
President Muhmmadu Buhari and some Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) governors yesterday congratulated Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki for winning Saturday’s election
Buhari and the governors also hailed the peaceful conduct of the election.
The President restated his “commitment to free and fair elections.”
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari urged Obaseki to show grace and humility in victory.
He 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.
“I have consistently advocated free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.
“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”
The President praised the people of Edo State, security agencies, the parties that participated in the election and their candidates for conducting themselves responsibly.
In their congratulatory messages, Governors Ben Ayade ( Cross River), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) praised Buhari and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the poll.
Ayade said Obaseki’s victory did not surprise him considering his achievements in the past four years.
He urged Obaseki to see his “victory as a clarion call to do more for Edo people who have these four years reposed their confidence in you.”
The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, added that he was delighted that Obaseki’s re-election “now brings the entire Southsouth under PDP’s total control.
Ikpeazu said he was particularly pleased that Buhari stood firm on the side of our constitutional democracy and recognised the rights of the people to freely elect their own leaders by maintaining an admirable level of neutrality in the election.
He added: “The result of the election shows clearly that the people of Edo State were not prepared to circumscribe their sovereignty under any circumstances.
“They have spoken clearly that no one can take away their rights to choose their own leader,” Ikpeazu stated..
Also, Tambuwal thanked the President for “allowing the conduct of the election to be free, fair, and devoid of violence.”
He said: ” From Aso Rock came a firm directive that the game must be played according to the rules. In following this directive our security forces jettisoned the toga of allying with the outlawed mode of electoral conduct. I commend Mr. President over his statesmanship
“ Similarly, the election umpire(INEC), hitherto tainted as biased reviewed its position and stayed on the path of equity and fair play.
Tambuwal, a former speaker of the House of Representatives attributed Obaseki’s re-election to team spirit by the PDP and its willingness to stick to the rules.
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri in his message congratulated Obaseki, saying that people’s power, as expressed in the Edo election, remained the most potent force in any democracy
Diri, in a statement by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah , also praised INEC, for upholding democracy and allowing the will of Edo people to prevail.
He also hailed the PDP for securing yet another victory in Edo, saying he was particularly delighted that all the states in the Southsouth now belong to the PDP family.
Also, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel described Obaseki’s victory as the end of godfatherism in Edo State politics.
Emmanuel,,in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary and Senior Special Assistant, Media, Ekerete Udoh, congratulated the governor , saying re-election was well-deserved.
,His words: ”Last year, the good people of Akwa Ibom State rose in unison and said no to godfatherism and the much-touted Federal might. Our brothers and sisters in Edo State have replicated the same wholesome faith and belief in God over the boastful exuberance of ordinary mortals by voting to return a leader who best represents their values and ethos; a doer and not a talker.”
Emmanuel’s counterpart in Ebonyi State, David Umahi said, Obaseki’s re-election rekindled hope in the nation’s democracy and the electoral process.
“I congratulate you on your well-deserved victory. Your re-election has confirmed your electoral appeal in EdoState. Remember not the former things, get to work and take Edo State to another greater heights,”.Umahi said.
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom described Obaseki’s victory as a true reflection of the wishes of Edo people and not the machinations of some individuals and self-made godfathers.
Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Tever Akase, hailed the doggedness and determination of Obaseki to overcome intimidation and uphold the mandate his people gave him.
The governor also congratulated the people of Edo State, PDP and Rivers State Governor Wike who headed the party’s campaign team for the election.
He said that INEC also deserved plaudits for the peaceful and credible conduct of the poll.