By Rasheed Sobowale
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in his press briefing after being presented the certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), extended a hand of fellowship to the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the former chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole.
In his address, Obaseki said; “on a special note, I want to use this occasion to call on the former chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole, that, the fight is over.”
He beckoned on the former governor of the state to “come and join in building the house, where he was part of laying the foundation”.
According to him; “We have no malice. The only thing we disagree on is on the approach in moving Edo forward.”
The Edo governor also called on his strongest opponent in the election, Pastor Ize-Iyamu of the APC, saying; “we are one family in the pursuit to provide services and public vote for our citizens.”
“I want to put it on record that the election of Septemeber 19, 2020 has been adjudged as one of the best conducted election in terms of it being free and fair.
“Our citizens have decided that for now, they trust us more with the affair of leadership. It does not mean that they did not have a role to play. It does not mean that they are not part of a family.
“So I am using this opportunity to extend a hand of fellowship to my brother, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. and his other colleagues in the APC to join us and work with us so that we can move Edo State forward.”
The All Progressive Congress (APC) screening committee had in June disqualified Obaseki, and two others from participating in the party’s primary election to select its flagbearer for the Edo governorship election.
Obaseki according to the screening committee was unfit to contest on the grounds that his High School Certificate (HSC) and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate were defective.
During the presentation of its report, the chairman of the committee, Professor Jonathan Ayuba, was urged by the then National Chairman of the party (APC) Adams Oshiomhole to reveal the committee’s findings instead of making it discreet.
Ayuba responded; “His Excellency Godwin Obaseki nomination form contains the higher school certificate from the institute of continued education in Benin City.
According to him, the certificate was never submitted in the course of the screening and that Obaseki had admitted he has never collected it.
He also stated that Obaseki’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate was awarded to Obasek Godwin while the aspirant’s name is Obaseki Godwin.
According to him, the issue had to be considered because Obaseki has never made any move whatsoever to have the anomaly corrected; thus the need to question its authenticity.
Some days later, Obaseki after many speculations of joining the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), formally defects.
However, NYSC in July issued a new certificate with number A 004280695 to Obaseki with the error in his name corrected.
After the conduct of the Edo Guber election of September 19, INEC declared Obaseki, the flagbearer of the PDP winner, having polled 307,955 votes to beat his main rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 223,619 votes.