By Ovie Okpare
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday accepted the outcome of the Edo State governorship election that produced Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after securing majority votes.
It described the Edo election as a victory for the nation’s nascent democracy, adding that the exercise was free, fair and credible.
The chairman of the APC national caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni, stated this in a statement after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the governor of Kano and chairman of Edo governorship campaign committee, Abdullahi Ganduje, in Abuja.
Buni in the statement congratulated Obaseki on his re-election as the governor of Edo State and directed candidate of the party, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, Adams Oshiomhole and other members of the party to congratulate and accept outcome of the election.
Buni and Ganduje before the statement met with President Buhari behind closed doors for over an hour on the outcome of the election.
He blamed the party lost on the internal wrangling within the APC.
The governor subsequently warned against disunity in the party.
“The September 19, 2020 Edo State Governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of the Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People Democratic Party.
“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent victory for Nigeria’s democracy
“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to affirm our ‘commitment to free and fair elections’ in order to strengthen ‘the foundation for our political and moral authority’. We commend INEC, our security agencies and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election. As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved.
“We, in particular, want to salute our candidate in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamuh for his tenacity and leadership. We similarly commend our Edo State leaders, especially our immediate past National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and all our members in Edo State for demonstrating unwavering support for our party and our candidate in the election”, the statement said.
It added further, “In the face of all the challenges, we collectively remained faithful and worked tirelessly during the campaigns. We appeal to all our members to be strengthened by the outcome of the election and unite in order to correct all the problems that worked against our party and our candidate in the just-concluded election.
“Let us unite to move our democracy forward. We must put an end to the era when the electoral contest become warfare. We urge our candidate and all our members to join us in congratulating Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the PDP, being the declared winner of the election.
“Our attention must now shift to Ondo State and ensure that we win the October 10, 2020 election. September 19, 2020 Edo election should present a new watershed.
“We will work hard to win the Ondo election. Having reaffirmed our commitment to free and fair elections, it is our expectation that all opposition parties in the country will also commit themselves to free and fair contests. We will therefore accordingly expect a congratulatory message from all parties just as we similarly guarantee that once we are defeated in a fair contest, we will congratulate the winner.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Obaseki of the PDP as the winner of the keenly contested election after polling 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu, who got 223,619 votes.