By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-IT was jubilation galore across the three senatorial districts of Edo state Thursday after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, winner of the just concluded governorship election in Edo state.
Obaseki defeated his closest rival, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu after polling 319,483 as against 253,173 polled by the PDP candidate. The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Osaro Onaiwu who took third in the election polled 876 votes.
Obaseki in his swift reaction, attributed his victory to God and the people of the state, assuring that he will continue the developmental strides of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Out of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, Obaseki won in 12 while Ize-Iyamu won in five Local Government Areas. Obaseki won in six Local Government Areas out of the seven in Edo South, Egor, Ikpoba Okhai, Ovia North East, Ovia South West, Uhumwonde and Oredo.
Others are Igueben (Edo Central) and the entire six in Edo North, Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s domain. Announcing the results, the Returning Officer Prof. Kayode Soremekun, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Ikere Ekiti state, declared that Obaseki haven won the highest number of votes is “hereby declared the winner and returned elected”.
Tension heightened when supporter of the PDP stormed the INEC office to protest the results but they were repelled by APC youths who equally embarked on a march in celebration of victory and stern looking policemen attached to the INEC.
PDP agent, Barr.Chris Agbenawangbe refused to sign the result sheet, citing what he described as alleged irregularities during the elections. But the APC agent, Mr Samson Abu, described his allegation as laughable, asserting “this election is one of the most credible we have ever seen. This PDP people have been using social media to misinform the people but they are finished. Edo people have rejected them long ago and they will never come back. They lost squarely because they deserve to lose. So all these talk about rigging is rubbish” he stated.