In an unusual move, President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday swiftly congratulated Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who posted a resounding victory in last Saturday’s governorship election, trashing his main challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
For Obaseki’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was a spectacular rebound under its fire-spitting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, reclaiming a state it lost in 2012.
The outcome of the contest left APC, the ruling party at the centre, dumb-founded as PDP routed it in 13 of the 18 local government areas of the South-south state, returning the oil-rich region to its firm grip.
With the emphatic victory, PDP now controls the entire South-south states, including Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Delta, and Rivers.
Obaseki was declared winner in the keenly contested election by the Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, Vice Chancellor of University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State.
Obaseki scored 307,955 votes, winning the ballots cast in 13 local government areas against Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619, who prevailed in the remaining five councils.
Shortly after the declaration of results, the president congratulated Obaseki and urged him to be magnanimous in victory.
According to a statement issued by spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the president commended the election process, which led to the victory of Obaseki, saying he was committed to free and fair polls.
He also said without the conduct of free and fair polls, the foundation of democracy would be weak and party politics would amount to nothing.
The president 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 for 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.”
Buhari also commended the people of Edo State, the political parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly