Adams Oshiomhole, former national chairman of the APC has revealed he was moved to tears during Saturday’s Edo governorship election in first reaction to the party’s loss to the PDP.
Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had defeated Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his APC rival, in the election.
According to the INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, Obaseki secured 307,955 votes across 18 local government areas, while Ize-Iyamu polled 223,619 votes.
Oshiomhole had campaigned vigorously for Ize-Iyamu whose loss some people attributed to his influence in the campaign of the APC candidate.
In his first interview since the election, Oshiomhole narrated how he was moved to tears when he saw elderly women who were determined to cast their ballot despite some hitches in the process.
He said rather than get frustrated over how malfunctioning card readers slowed down the process, the people waited patiently.
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Oshiomhole said while many expected him to be downcast over the outcome of the exercise, he is feeling good.
He spoke to GEE Africa TV.
“You know in life, you work hard and leave God for the outcome, you do your best and trust God to bless your effort,” he said.
“I feel good, I feel healthy thank God, I feel strong thank God. In life you win some and you lose some but life goes on. I want to thank everybody, I am sure a lot of people think comrade is down but I am not down. When God says you are not down, you are not down and I am not down.
“I thank Edo people for all they did over the past two, three, four, six weeks, people under the rain under the sun, young ladies carrying babies on their back, I saw elderly women struggling to see my small face, and on election day I was moved to tears when I saw elderly women of 70 to 75 sitting down because the card readers were not working and they were not frustrated with that, they struck me with that. If at their age, they didn’t give up, why should I give up?”
He asked the people to have faith in Nigeria and see it as the only country that they have.
“And I ask our people to have faith in our country, you cannot have faith in another country,” he said.
“I have only have one passport and I am not about to apply for any other passport. This country, we must make it great, we must strengthen democracy, we must improve on it. No matter the outcome of an election or a particular edition of the process, have faith in God and have faith in our country. God bless you all.”
Speaking on ARISE TV on Tuesday, Obaseki said if nothing is done to clip the wings of Oshiomhole and Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC, they will destroy the country’s democracy.
Obaseki said, “The challenge with people like Oshiomhole and Ahmed Tinubu is that they if they do not accept and change their style and attitude, they pose a big danger to our democracy because they are extra-constitutional players.”
“They constituted themselves into what they say they are without any constitutional responsibilities and try to overlord themselves over people who have constitutional authority and if we allow them to continue it will destroy our democracy.”
Obaseki also said his statement was personal, but “it is about their role in our democracy”.
Meanwhile, Obaseki on Monday praised the Edo people for ensuring his victory at the state governorship election.
He noted that his reelection had put an end to godfatherism and ensured that ‘the lions and tigers’ were permanently caged in the zoo.
Obaseki said this while speaking to party supporters at the Museum Ground, Kings square in Benin City after a victory road show across various streets in the metropolis.
Obaseki said, “The message of Saturday’s governorship election for this government is to go and work for Edo people. It is clear and Edo people have spoken that we should work for them and transform the state.
“You have helped me cage the lions and tigers in the state. You will never see them again in Edo State because they are all in the zoo now where they belong. Today, I promise you that we will work for Edo people because no one will hinder us from delivering the dividends of democracy to Edo people.
“I will collaborate with my brother and deputy governor, Philip Shaibu to work for Edo people. I thank everyone residing in Edo State; you have spoken and we have heard you and are ready to work for you.”
The National Vice Chairman, South-South of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih noted, “Saturday’s governorship election shows that Edo people have rejected godfatherism, money-bag politics and given a mandate for the development of the state.
This is as the All Progressives Congress (APC) has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as the governor of Edo State.
The chairman of the APC national caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni said in a statement that the peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represents a victory for Nigeria’s democracy.
He said the party and the president remain committed to free and fair elections to strengthen the foundation of the country’s political and moral authority.
He commended INEC, security agencies, and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election.
He also commended the party’s flagbearer Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu for his tenacity and leadership while appreciating the efforts of the immediate past national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, and other members for demonstrating unwavering support for the party and its candidate in the election.
Governor Buni added that it is time to unite to move the country’s democracy forward and put an end to the era when the electoral contest becomes warfare.
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