By Gabriel Enogholase & Aliu Ozooruva – Benin
Ahead of the Edo State governorship election slated for 19th of September 2020, the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have vowed to resist any attempt by opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to rig the election.
PDP made the vow during the flag-off of the incumbent governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki governorship re-election campaign in Benin Saturday.
Among those who spoke on the issue were the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus. Mr Nyesom Wike (Rivers State governor) who is also the chairman of the PDP National Council, and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.
National chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, while stressing the need for a free and fair election come September in Edo State, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to provide security for citizens in the country and conduct a free and fair election for Nigerians.
He said, “The President should do the needful by ensuring that elections were free and fair and anything short of this will not be acceptable to us”
On his part, Governor Wike said, “Nobody can rig this election, no one man can decide what will happen in Edo state, today is the end of the so-called godfatherism.
“I thank Godwin Obaseki for the interest of Edo people, if he was selfish, he would have been dancing to the tune of one man.
“On election day, I know you will come out to vote, that I am aware of, but what is important is for you to protect and defend your votes.
“I can assure all of you that everything will be done to retain this state as a PDP state, all I want you to do is that come out on the 19th of September and when you vote, stay back and defend your vote, nothing will happen to anybody.
“With what Obaseki has done, the coast is very clear and Obaseki has already won.
“Oshiomhole said Obaseki was the best, he said every one of his achievements, he was responsible for it. He said Obaseki never asked him for one naira or contract, today, the same man he has come to give to the people of Edo state that man that he said he cannot trust with money, he now wants us to trust Edo money in his hands.
“The only thing giving APC some kind of hope is because they believe in rigging but this one, it will be very difficult”.
In the same vein, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State said; “You cannot eat your cake and have it, the governor must hold on to God and you people of Edo state should protect your votes, votes must count.
“I am calling on INEC to build on the legacies of Atahiru Jega as chairman of INEC of one man one vote through which Adams Oshiomhole came back as second term governor in Edo state.
“Professor Mahmud, you have a date with history, you have a family, you have a name, you have a reputation at stake, don’t allow anybody to use you for his own political gain and benefit.
“I am appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari, even if the anti-corruption fight is becoming tougher and clearly it is failing; and even if the security challenges are getting more and more, don’t fail in delivering free, fair election process to Nigeria.
“Let there be a legacy and what you should hand over to the government of the PDP by the grace of God almighty that will be coming in 2023 Insha Allah”
Other governors who addressed the rally included Sen Bala Muhammed of Sokoto state, Mr Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Mr Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State and Sen Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state.
Governor Obaseki, while addressing the gathering and thanking the people for their support, promised to dedicate his life for Edo people.