Going back to APC will dent my integrity –Edo gov
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed he was not happy to congratulate Governor Godwin Obaseki over his recent governorship election victory in Edo State because he defeated his party’s candidate, just as the newly re-elected governor vowed never to return to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki had last weekend ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defeated his main challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize- Iyamu of the ruling APC. The President, according to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday after meeting with Obaseki, his Deputy, Philip Shuaibu and other stakeholders, vowed to bequeath a democratic culture based on integrity to the country. This came as the Edo state governor pledged never to dump his party for the APC as being variously speculated in some circles.
The President said he instructed the security agencies to ensure that the election was free, fair and credible because his single desire was to make sure that innocent Nigerians don’t suffer regardless of party affiliation and that made him to “I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after beating my party. I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not, but my single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer.
That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police, that elections must be free and fair. “If contestants have too much money and they decide to spray, so be it. But what I insist is, nobody should go and raise a counter force to the government, arm heavily-drugged thugs to go and humiliate people.
“I want Nigerians to appreciate that I respect them as Nigerians and that I am bound by the oath I have taken, that their security is in the hands of God and in the hands of the government, which I am leading.” “We have lost states across the country.
Now I do not like to escape responsibility, seeing as the leader of the country, I am also the leader of my party, that I am not leading the party very well”, Buhari noted. In his remarks, Governor Obaseki thanked the President for ensuring that fair play reigned during the election which saw him victorious, but vowed never to return to the APC.
“You would recall a couple of weeks before the election, I came to see you and you assured me that we were going to have a free, peaceful and credible election. That is what we had during the election of 19th September and the whole world has acclaimed that the Edo election was perhaps one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria. This could not have been possible without your insistence that the right we want to say thank you very much.”
He also thanked the President for his congratulatory message, assuring him that the message “has been internalised, that it is God that made this election possible, therefore I should be humble about the election and also magnanimous in victory.” He pledged his unalloyed loyalty and support and that of the people of Edo State to the President and the federal government. Asked to respond to insinuations that he would return to his erstwhile party, APC, after winning on the platform of the PDP, Obaseki said “The answer to your question, gleaning from the comments of Mr. President, he said that he wants to leave a democracy that is built on integrity, accountability and hard work. Those were his words and I subscribe totally to that. It will not show integrity, it will not demonstrate somebody that has ethical or moral foundation to do what you asked about.
I couldn’t have contested on a party, won on that party and then considered moving to another party. It is not the kind of thing to do; it’s not the right thing to do and I am sure you will not encourage me to do that.” Asked whether he will become the new political godfather in the state having defeated Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his cabal, Obaseki said he had always maintained that godfatherism is dangerous to democracy. He said: “The reason is simple; the godfather has no constitutional responsibility, the godfather acts outside the constitution and controls people who are constitutional players.
So, if we allow that sort of situation to continue, it will be worse than military rule. “When people who have nothing at stake, no checks and balances just arbitrarily decide that this is the way the constitution should be interpreted or constitutional players should operate, that’s why problems come in. God forbid I become a godfather, I should be dealt with accordingly because it’s dangerous to the concept of democracy.”
Oshiomhole made us lose –Shuiabu
Speaking on the election, a former Deputy National Chairman (North) of the APC, Senator Lawal Shuiabu said Oshiomhole cost the APC the election, noting the former governor made himself an institution and constitution of the party, while the former Acting National Chairman, Hon. Victor Giadom said they saw the loss of the party coming in Edo State. Making a post mortem review of the election, Shuiabu said the overbearing attitude of the APC former National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole made APC to lose the election. In his assessment, he said if Oshiomhole had heeded to wise counsel, APC would have still retained Edo State as one of its states. Senator Shuiabu, who was the first to attack Oshiomhole’s leadership style after the 2019 General elections said he knew that Obaseki was going to win the election. According to him, it is difficult in all over multiparty democracies to challenge an incumbent and defeat him. He said: “There is nowhere in the world, a political party will challenge an incumbent person and defeat him easily. I said so the last time l had a chat with the media. It doesn’t happen at all. The President said that the power in a multiparty democracy is from down up. “In fact, you owe your membership of the party to your polling unit, not the National Headquarters. You cannot exercise power beyond what they can exercise. The higher you go especially in politics the more of a servant you become rather than a master.
“The masters are down, down the line. Once you are appointed to the top, then you are the top servant, not the top master. For any party to succeed, that party must respect and comply with its constitution. You cannot just assume the powers of the constitution or say you are the constitution. “Before they disqualified Obaseki, they went and brought one village Professor, who came and declared Obaseki disqualified. There are political considerations in making such decisions but the Professor never understood politics not to talk of considering such considerations of that nature. “Everybody in Nigeria knew Adams Oshiomhole was driving towards disqualifying Obaseki but the unfortunate thing was there was nobody to stop him. Every political party needs an intervention organ like the Board of Trustees that can call a National Working Committee (NWC) to order. We never had one”, he said. Similarly, the APC North East National Vice Chairman, Comrade Salihu Mustapha reacting to the loss said many things must be put into consideration in arriving at the reason that made the party to lose. Mustapha, who said election is a social phenomenon submitted that a post mortem of the election was ongoing and would soon be submitted to the Caretaker Committee. Reacting to the loss, he said: “l want to believe as we speak post mortem is ongoing which is going to be submitted to the party as to the flaws and issues that led to the defeat of our candidate in Edo State. So, all these things would be done and until and unless these things were done it would not be fair for us to sit and make a review of what happened in the field. That is what I will say in regards to post mortem”. Meanwhile, the chairman of the screening committee that disqualified Obaseki from contesting the APC governorship ticket, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, has said that his committee acted on the facts and documents before them. According to Ayuba, the governor was disqualified on the basis of his NYSC certificate and his inability to provide his Higher Certificate with which he gained admission into the University of Ibadan and the affidavit he swore to. Ayuba said: “It was our observations that made him go back to the NYSC to get the discrepancies in his certificate corrected.”
PDP ward leaders commends Edo people
The Peoples Democratic Party in Ward 7, Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, has praised voters in the state for re-electing Obaseki, despite attempts by the opposition to financially induce them. The councillor representing Ward 7, Egor LGA, Derrick Uhunmwangho, gave the commendation at a victory party to celebrate the re-election of Governor Obaseki by executives and members of PDP in the Ward. Uhunmwangho said: “I deem it fit to host my constituents for the support they gave to the governor in the just concluded gubernatorial election. Even when the opposition party was sharing between N5, 000 to N7, 000, they refused to collect it because they preferred to vote their conscience, so we believe it is worth celebrating.” Also, the PDP Ward 7 Woman Leader, Mrs. Rosemary Okundia, expressed appreciation to the people for coming out en masse to re-elect Obaseki/Shaibu. He said: “I appreciate the people for being able to cage the ‘lions and tigers’ in Edo State and for putting them where they duly belong, the cage. The Chairman, PDP Ward 7, Egor LGA, Hon. Daniel Iyangbe, also said: “I am very happy with the victory. Obaseki has done so much for Edo people and deserves the victory. I am a pensioner, I get my pension every 24th of every month, when I retired in 2010, during Oshiomhole administration, I got my pension after six years but during Obaseki’s administration, you will get your money after one month of retirement.”