Buhari Congratulates Obaseki as PDP Tells President to Sustain His ‘Newfound’ Democratic Credentials

File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari presides over Federal Executive Council Meeting and Unveils Nigeria at 60th Anniversary Logo in State House on 16th Sep 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated the winner of the Saturday Edo State governorship election, Godwin Obaseki, and urged him to show grace and humility in victory.

The President commended the election process in Edo State which led to Obaseki’s victory as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

This was coming as the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) celebrated the party’s victory and congratulated the people of Edo State on the re-election of their choice leader.

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The party implored Buhari to sustain his “newfound spirit of ensuring that the people are allowed to freely choose their leaders at all elections.”

PDP described the victory as historic, noting that it served as a strong, viable and unambiguous lesson to leaders, saying Ondo State governorship election is the next target of the party.

Speaking on the outcome of the election as announced by INEC, Buhari 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.

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“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.”

The President, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, commended the people of Edo State, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.

Also, speaking on its victory at Edo State guber poll, PDP commended the courage of the people of the state for resisting what it described as antics of the enemies of democracy.

PDP said: “Our party celebrates the resilience and courage exhibited by the people of Edo state in resisting the antics of the enemies of democracy, who, as vote buyers, patrons of lions and tigers, as well as beguilers, attempted to take over the political space of Edo state.

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“We rejoice with the Edo people for helping to reset the political culture of our nation by casting their votes, protecting the votes, ensuring that their votes counted and following it, ‘bumper-to-bumper,’ to the final point of declaration.

“Our party commends traditional institutions, faith-based organizations, youth groups, market women, artisans, community associations, trade unions, traditional leaders and other stakeholders in Edo state for standing up for their state during her critical moments.

“On account of the reverberation of this victory across the length and breath of our country, the PDP implores President Muhammadu Buhari to continue in this newfound spirit of ensuring that the people are allowed to freely choose their leaders at all elections.

“Our party states this in our belief that in spite of his administration’s failure in other spheres of life as well as in previous elections, if Mr. President can continue to toe this new line of allowing for electoral uprightness, history will be beckoned to be kind to him.

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“To the ‘political godfathers,’ this election must serve as a loud lesson that power belongs only to God, which He confers through the people; and that no matter how an individual strives to lord it over others, the will of God, through the people, will always prevail.

“Our party also notes the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Prof. Yakubu Mahmood in ensuring that Edo election was conducted in a manner that was largely adjudged to be free, fair, transparent and credible. Nigerians hope that what we have witnessed in Edo state will not be an off-season procedure in the commission. We demand that this credible process applies to all our elections.”

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, applauded “the use of virtual portal by INEC to upload results directly from the polling unit, the base of our election, which made it impossible for electoral violators to hijack this electoral process.”

“It is our hope in PDP that this new found image of INEC will gather more thresholds in future elections, particularly the October 10, 2020 Ondo governorship election.

“We however call on INEC to strengthen its processes, particularly in the area of card readers, to forestall the type of delays witnessed in accreditation of voters.

“Our party also notes the improvement in the activities of our security agencies compared to past elections. We hope that our security organs will continue in this stead in future elections.

“The Edo election has indeed shown that credible elections are possible in our country if we play by the rules,” the party said.

PDP also applauded the international community for their keen observation of the electoral processes as well as profiling of those who are bent on undermining our democracy and making free and fair elections appear impossible in Nigeria.

“We urge the international community and all lovers of democracy not to relent in providing necessary advisory to our leaders on the conduct of our elections,” the party noted.

PDP restated its support for the actions taken so far by the United States and the United Kingdom in restricting electoral violators from visiting their countries, urging “them not to restrain on further sanctions against such individuals for their sinister roles in our elections.”

The party also appreciated the Chairman of its National Campaign Council and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for providing the right leadership that led to the victory in Edo State.

It commended the party National Chairman, Uche Secondus; Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Chairman of South-south PDP Governors’ Forum and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; as well as all PDP governors, National Assembly caucus, elders, leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of the party for their efforts in this election.

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PDP appreciated the candidate of APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, “whose participation in this election helped to deepen our democracy and enabled the people to make their choice. We invite him, in the spirit of sportsmanship, to congratulate his brother, Governor Godwin Obaseki and join him in the onerous task of leadership in the general interest of all Edo people.”

The party thanked the media, the civil society groups and all Nigerians across board, for showing more than a passing interest in ensuring that the wish ofThe the people of Edo State for a credible and transparent election prevailed, saying: “We do not take your efforts in this regard for granted.”

PDP assured of “a continuous partnership with all critical stakeholders in our collective desire to recreate a nation that will continue to be our pride.”

Idowu Sowunmi