Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
Adibe Emenyonu , Chuks Okocha and Senator Iroegbu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday presented the Certificate of Return to the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and incumbent governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as the duly re-elected winner in the July 14 election.
Equally, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) also congratulated Oshiomhole, on his re-election even as the Presidency described Oshiomhole’s re-election as a verdict on solid performance and good governance which should be emulated by other political office holders, especially governors of other states.
Receiving the certificate, which was presented by INEC’s National Commissioner, Col. Mohammed Hammanga, at the commission’s headquarters in Benin City, Oshiomhole said: “I promise that I understand the import of this certificate. It means a return to work, to deliver to our people dividend of democracy and improving the lives of the vast majority of our people.”
He reiterated his earlier promise to assist families of the late policemen and INEC ad hoc staff who died in course of Saturday election by providing for their upkeep, noting that: “By next week, the state government will provide to the family something money cannot compensate for live just to show that their death was a sacrifice for sustenance of democracy.”
Fielding questions from journalists, shortly after he was presented with the certificate, Oshiomhole apologised to those he may have offended in the course of the election and called on his opponents to join hands with him to move the state forward.
The ceremony scheduled for 4 pm did not take place until about 6.30pm as a result of the governor’s delayed arrival from Abuja, where he had travelled on Monday.
However, the governors in a statement signed by its Director General, Mr. Bayo Okuaro, said the election exemplified the confidence of the people of Edo in Oshiomhole’s leadership.
“While we congratulate the governor for his victory, we congratulate the people of Edo State for their conduct during the election. The people of the state have made all Nigeria proud by demonstrating, again, that Nigerians, on their own can choose their own leaders on their own terms, in an ordered manner,” the governors maintained.
The statement further added that: “The peaceful conduct of the election assures us all that the future of democracy is bright. We call on the governor to see the election as one in which there is no victor and no vanquished.
“As the governor is inaugurated for a second term, we urge him to put behind him the acrimony and controversy that characterised electioneering in the state in the past few months and begin earnestly to give quality governance to the people of the state. We trust that Oshiomhole will demonstrate the requisite large-heartedness to warm up to all Edo people irrespective of their political affiliations. Once again, congratulations.”
Meanwhile, the President, while hailing Oshiomhole’s victory, said such a feat was possible because of the desire of President Goodluck Jonathan to keep his promise on free and fair elections.
Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters, Mr. Akachukwu Nwankwo, while fielding questions with journalists in Abuja, noted that Oshomhole’s victory was a lesson for governors from the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties that they would be judged according to their performance.
“I don’t know how people are seeing it but, the issue is that before now Oshomhole did not win Edo State as PDP candidate. If you are talking about Edo elections, you tend to forget that Oshomhole is doing his second elections. It is usually expected that if you are a ruling governor, it’s a lot more difficult to unseat you. What I think is that all PDP states; going by what is happened in Edo should be able to repeat itself in other states.
“And if they repeat what happened in Edo, PDP will still be very large. So the lesson for PDP is to keep your state, and that is what I expect them to do, and then beyond that,” he said.
and because you have a President that have allowed people to be happy and joyous around the election, you can also encroach more on those areas where people are more autocratic and that is the lesson of Edo for me, and as it concerns our great party.
“Edo is a lesson for everybody both for PDP, ACN, APGA, ANPP and other political parties that it is time for real politics. This president is not the president of either one political party or the other; he is the president of Nigeria. He swore to defend our constitution, and that is what he will do. He is also taking steps to ensure that his political party (PDP) continues not only to be the biggest but the fastest learner, and I am sure that they are on track to that.
“If we deal with Edo as a practical example of how promises are to be kept you will understand that I said to you that INEC played their part, the Police and security agencies played their part, the citizens played their part, the politicians also did not also get themselves into the place they will be arrested because they are breaking the law. They saw that the law is in place to be kept, and they tried to behave themselves to a large extent,” he explained.
The Special Adviser also stated that the reason why Jonathan insisted on free and fair elections was to ensure that the will of the electorate are respected and a signal that the “win it at all cost or do-or-dies politics” of the past is coming to an end.
He, however, warned that only those who performed well and were appreciated by their people would have the opportunity of benefiting from the President’s stance of free, fair and credible elections.
“Because the President is determined to keep his promise of free and fair elections; people will drift towards people they believe will protect them as citizens and serve them. So if there is a sitting governor of any party, please understand that the promise keeper is here.
“President Jonathan will keep his promise for free and fair elections; so work to make sure that your people are happy with you. I think that is what the lesson should be and it applies to everybody both PDP and non PDP governors, and I am sure that there are PDP governors who are performing well and they will sustain that, and there are other governors who may not be performing to the satisfaction of their people.
“So governors should rule to make their people happy, and the people will have the confidence that when they vote whomever they want, there is a President that is there to stand by INEC. The President will stand by INEC, and once INEC had given a declaration, the President will stand by it and at any point that the courts get the INEC to change its position; the President will stand by it. So Nigeria you have the promise keeper in the state house. Let’s rejoice over that and give glory to God, for the President is keeping his promise,” he assured.