The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday issued a certificate of return to Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as the winner of the governorship election held in the state on Saturday. This was as the governor called on the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, gubernatorial candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu and other members of the APC to join hands with his administration in developing the state.
Receiving the document as governor-elect for the September 19 governorship election at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC) in Benin, Edo State, Obaseki commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that the governorship election was free, fair and credible, adding that the president had the option to ensure that the APC candidate won the election in the state, but decided to do the right thing and allowed the votes of the people to count.
He said: “I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the part he played in ensuring a free, fair and credible election. He will be remembered as the father of democracy in Nigeria. He had a choice to ensure his party was declared winner, but insisted that the right thing be done.”
Obaseki urged members of the opposition APC to join hands with his administration to move the state forward, adding that; “ I use this opportunity to reach out to our brothers on the other side of the divide as we are one family in the pursuit to provide public good for our citizens. The election shows that they trust us more now to provideleadership. Itdoesn’t mean the opposition parties don’t have a role to play.”
He said: “I use this opportunity to extend the hands of fellowship to my brother, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his other colleagues in the APC as well as other parties to join hands with us to move Edo forward. “I call on Adams Oshiomhole that the fight is over and he should come and join in building the house which he was part of, in laying the foundation. We have no malice, but only disagree on the approach in moving Edo forward.”
The governor commended the leadership of INEC for their unbiased role in the election and the commission’s National Chairman’s ability to withstand pressure as an umpire, adding, “I want to thank INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for his intellect in introducing technology to provide transparency in the process.
He should be hailed by all as INEC was able to view results as the counting of votes was on-going in units across the state.
This has introduced another ornament of transparency in the way we do elections in Nigeria,” Obaseki said