Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Benin Sunday
By Our Reporters
As expected with every victory, the success of Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the Saturday poll, triggered electrifying excitement amongst the people of Edo State and even beyond. The governor was swarmed with congratulatory messages.
Sunday, Benin City, the Edo State capital, virtually stood still, as thousands of supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) defied the early morning rain to embark on a victory procession around the city in celebration of the victory.
The governor, who participated in the victory march, said the result of the election, which he described as a “landslide” was a true reflection of the wishes of the people. He assured the people of the state that with his re-election, more development would come to every part of the state.
He said: “God has blessed our project, it is finished. Now is the time to give thanks to God, that today, a Holy Sunday, the people of Edo State have spoken across Edo South, across Edo Central, across Edo North. Our people are united by a common desire to build a new Edo State.
“I thank you for standing on your feet. On our feet, we shall fight for freedom; we shall never go on our knees. You young ones must remember that this fight was and is for your tomorrow.”
Congratulating him, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said that democracy was the greatest winner in the governorship election in Edo State that got Oshiomhole re-elected. He commended the people of the state for the discipline and tolerance they had exhibited in expressing their choice in the election.
“The way and manner the people of Edo State conducted themselves at the polling booths in the weekend’s governorship election has further bolstered my confidence that democracy has indeed come to stay in Nigeria,” Atiku said.
In the same vein, Senate President David Mark congratulated Oshiomhole, describing his re-election as a reward for his service to Edo people.
In a statement, the senate president said: “This re-election is a reward for service. It must serve as an elixir for greater performance. You must therefore continue to do only those things that have made you the best choice of your people. You must therefore continue to make service to your people the focal point of your administration.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, also congratulated Oshiomhole on his fresh term of four years. Tambuwal noted that Oshiomhole's victory was a manifestation of the people's trust and confidence in his leadership. Tambuwal implored the governor to rise above partisan consideration and carry along all people in the task of building the state as well as seeing his victory as a tonic for greater service to his fatherland.
Crediting the Edo People for the victory recorded, National Leader of ACN, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, noted that, “Edo has taught us we can have a democracy if we want it badly enough and if we organise to defeat the machinations of those who would rather lord over us rather than serve us.”
He stated that Oshiomhole understands the weight of the moment and that now, even more than during his first term, he must do honour to the trust the people have placed in him. “He promised to be an even better servant of the people during these next four years. Governor Oshiomhole represents a break with the old order," he said.
In its message, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said the re-election of Oshiomhole was as a result of his performance in office with a determination to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state. It added that the victory was a signal to political godfathers and those who believe in buying their way into office to loot public monies and impoverish the people. It stated that this was indicative that the day of reckoning has come.
President of the NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, congratulated his predecessor and the people of Edo State whose will, he added, had triumphed over years of orchestrated deceit, and megalomania of a decadent ruling class. Oshiomhole was the president of the NLC for eight years. He became the governor of Edo State after stepping down as the labour movement’s president.
Oshiomhole’s fellow ACN governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, also congratulated him on his victory. Fayemi described Oshiomhole’s victory as a well-deserved reward for his purposeful leadership and the positive impact his administration has made on the lives of the Edo people.
Also, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, congratulated Oshiomhole on his victory, noting that the concept of the social contract in governance was beginning to make an impact on the Nigerian people. “For too long, our people have suffered bad governance. The social contract is beginning to make its impact. You remember when I went to Edo State; I was talking about the social contract. We have seen it here in Lagos, we have seen it in Edo, and we have seen it in Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti. People have replaced governments that hadn’t worked for them,” the Governor said.
Also, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, described Oshiomole’s victory as another milestone in the collective efforts to strengthen democratic culture in the country. Governor Ahmed, in a congratulatory message, noted that it was very heart warming that despite the anxieties which preceded it, the election was largely peaceful.
And in what looked like an agenda-setting mandate, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday tasked the governor to look beyond the victory and settle down on issues of governance. In a statement by the NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, the body urged the governor to expedite action on industrialising the state and improving on job creation.
“As the Comrade Governor savours his victory, we urge him to quickly put the election behind him and settle down to the onerous task of industrialising Edo State and continuously delivering the dividends of democracy to the toiling people of Edo State," it said.