Barely 24 hours after the Action Democratic Party, ADP, and its governorship candidate, Iboi Lucky Emmanuel filed proceedings at the Edo Election Petition Tribunal challenging the outcome of the election which was won by incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, African Democratic Congress, ADC’s Mabel Oboh has carpeted the move, describing it as an opportunistic attempt at cheap publicity and a selfish move to distabilise Edo State people once again.
In a chat with media representatives, Oboh admonished: “The lawsuit by ADP challenging the winner of the Edo 2020 elections held on Saturday, September 19, won by incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, is an opportunistic move designed to give the ADP candidate cheap publicity.”
She noted that election was not a do-or-die affair and the matter was baffling, especially as the ADP had already congratulated Governor Obaseki.
Her words: “What do they think they are doing? Edo people made their choice on September 19 and that choice must be respected.
“Moreover, the peace and tranquillity that has descended on Edo State should be allowed to remain and flourish. I stand for peace always.
“Election is not a do-or-die affair. What baffles me is the fact that the ADP had already congratulated Governor Obaseki.
“So the question is, why the sudden volte-face? Why is Iboi Emmanuel looking for cheap publicity and becoming over ambitious?
“This is not the right way to achieve democracy. I actively contested under my party, African Democratic Congress, ADC, and I don’t recall meeting the ADP and the other parties that are now threatening to challenge the election result at any stage on my campaign trail on ground.
“It will be very interesting to know how ADP and others got their votes in the first place.
“It is high time politicians learned to stand for the truth and respect the wish of the people. Edo election was not about the candidates that participated, but about the people’s mandate.”
Recall that less than 24 hours after the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said he was not challenging the outcome of the elections, but would rather pursue the pre-election matters already in the court, ADP’s Iboi Emmanuel had filed a suit challenging the results of the elections at the Edo Election Tribunal.
Joined as respondents in the suit marked EPT/ED/GOV/01/2020 are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; Governor Godwin Obaseki; APC and Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu as first to fifth respondents, respectively.
According to the petition, ADP is, among other things, calling on the tribunal to nullify the elections.
However, Mabel Oboh faulted the move, adding: “Every honourable contestant in the Edo 2020 elections should follow the high ground of honour, integrity and dignity and allow Edo State to remain happy and flourish.
“Anyone who has the interest of the state at heart should either get involved in the immediate development of the state or wait until 2024 to re-contest.
“That is not to say that the contestants who can contribute to the development of Edo State should not be given the opportunity to do so.
“Edo State at the moment needs all hands on deck to make her heal again, especially after the warring which went on for too long. Edo must move on.
“Although the state is still celebrating, there is much to do and the time is now; no distractions are needed, enough is enough.”
Also reacting to the petition, Gabriel Oloruntobi, Edo ADP State Chairman, has reacted to the petition.
In a press statement issued and signed by him, Oloruntobi said the party was shocked to hear that the candidate of the party in the recently-conducted governorship election in the state is being challenged in the tribunal.
He lamented: “The party was shocked to hear that the candidate of the party in the recently conducted gubernatorial election in the state, where Governor Godwin Obaseki emerged winner, is being challenged at the tribunal.
“At the enlarged meeting held in the state recently to appreciate our members, where the candidate was involved, the party commended INEC, security agencies and the electorate for doing a good job in ensuring a free, fair and credible election.
“It is, therefore, an embarrassment to the party to be dragged into an action not supported by us.
“The party is not interested in any litigation against the choice of Edo people and will not want to be seen as anti-Edo.
“The conviviality that exist in the state since the outcome of the election is not to be jeopardised by anyone, including our party.”