Immediate past President of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, on his re-election, which, he said, would have several implications for Nigeria’s democracy.
In a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja, yesterday, Saraki stated that Obaseki’s victory represented the determination of the Edo people to decide who governs them and to ensure their votes count at all times.
“The result of the Edo election represents the true wish of the people who stood firmly behind their Governor against power mongers who were determined to foist their choice on the people. It represents the will of the people to vote in free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections.
“Edo people, who had sleepless nights in an attempt to protect their votes, those who rejected the cash they were offered to buy their votes and the intimidation to force them to compromise their belief, deserve our praise. Therefore, my congratulations go to all the people of Edo State.
“I commend the leaders and governors of PDP for working together to achieve this victory. The PDP leaders and members in Edo State who whole-heartedly accepted Governor Obaseki since he joined the party and co-operated with him to bring about this victory deserve to be appreciated,” he stated.
Saraki explained that the result of the election also implied the fact that Nigerians actually desire to be governed by a truly democratic government headed by those they genuinely voted for and the fact that the nation’s security and electoral officials could be trusted to conduct free and fair elections if they have the right atmosphere.
“We are happy that throughout this election, we did not see the military brutalising the people or security officials supervising the snatching of ballot boxes and vandalisation of votes. Thus, the military and other security agencies deserve commendation for the successful polls.
“Also, we saw how the INEC officials maturely handled the complaints of the APC agent, who sought to create confusion at the state collation centre when the Orhiomwhon Council Area result was about to be declared. Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deserve to be commended for their neutrality in the election,” he added.
Continuing, he said, “We can see that the result represents realistic figures from one local government area to the other. No case of outlandish figures being reeled out. That is also a sign of some level of credibility in the process.
It is for the above reasons that I have to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping the military out of the election and for giving the instructions that led to the neutrality of INEC officials and other security officials in the entire process.”
He further urged Governor Obaseki to see his victory as a charge by the people of Edo State to him to intensify his focus on the development of the state and the welfare of its people.
“The Edo election result is a victory for our country and democracy. We have shown that the glory of Nigeria is more valuable to the citizens than the wish of a tiny power clique,” he added.