From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Raymond Mordi, Bisi Olaniyi, Precious Igbonwelundu and Robert Egbe
The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), and the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) have given a pass mark to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and security agencies for the Edo governorship election.
They were also full of praises for the Edo electorate for their peaceful conduct before and after the election.
The CNPP said: “The people of Edo State have demonstrated exceptional resilience and stood out as champions of democracy by standing against obvious intimidation to not only vote but also to ensure that their votes counted.”.
Congratulating Governor Godwin Obaseki, the CNPP noted that the people of Edo State have given Nigerians the needed tonic to kill godfatherism everywhere in the country.
The umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in Nigeria, said this in a statement yesterday by its Secretary-General, Chief Willy Ezugwu.
It said it believed that “the visa ban slammed on some politicians who upturned the will of the people in previous elections may have also contributed in reducing the degree of compromise by officials of the INEC in Edo State.”
The CNPP added: “Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu (of the All Progressives Congress) is indeed a popular candidate in the state by all standards but we see every vote against him and his party as a vote against godfatherism in the country.
“Godfatherism and nepotism are the two major killers of Nigerian democracy. So, we urge Nigerians to emulate Edo people and unite to retire all godfathers from politics everywhere in the country,” it said.
TMG in its preliminary report acknowledged that adequate presence of security personnel in most places gave voters the confidence to turn out en masse and exercise their franchise.
In a statement signed by its chairperson, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, the group said the election was largely free and fair, adding that lapses observed were consistent with previous election experiences.
According to her, the report was done in collaboration with Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO), from the TMG/EDOCSO Election Observation Platform.
“TMG Election Observation Platform is of the preliminary opinion that the election was relatively well executed and largely free and fair”, Akiyode-Afolabi said.
CUPP, in a statement by its spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said the outcome of the election was a promising sign of a new, decent, electoral order in the country.
The group also commended INEC staff members who, according to it, resisted pressure to swap results, noting that it was a welcome development.
It described Obaseki’s victory as a triumph of peoples’ power.
Meanwhile,a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has said that the conduct of the Edo poll was “determined” by the West.
Adegboruwa, who is also a human rights activist, stated this on his Facebook page. He likened the poll to the national elections of 2015.
Adegboruwa, in a statement titled, ‘My take on Edo election’ said the relatively peaceful atmosphere during the election followed the Western nations’ threat to place travel restrictions on Nigerians involved in violence and rigging during elections.
He said: “Edo election was determined by the United States, European Union, and some other western powers. Whoever they favour will always carry the day. So it was in 2015 so it is now.
“Our leaders are scared to be placed under visa restrictions, where they may not be able to access their loot and have the opportunity for good medical treatment. This is what has led to peace in Edo.”