By Jethro Ibileke
Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari is the father of democracy in Nigeria.
He said this when he received the Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for winning Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State.
Obaseki, who is now Governor-elect for a second term expressed gratitude to Buhari for ensuring that the Edo State governorship election was free, fair and credible.
He added that the President had the option to ensure the APC candidate won the governorship election in the state, but decided to do the right thing and allowed the votes of the people to count.
“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the part he played in ensuring a free, fair and credible election. He will be remembered as the father of democracy in Nigeria. He had a choice to ensure his party was declared winner but insisted that the right thing be done,” he said.
Commenting on the conduct of the election, the governor commended the leadership of INEC for their unbiased role in the election and the commission’s national chairman’s ability to withstand pressure as an umpire.
He said: “I want to thank the INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for his intellect in introducing technology to provide transparency in the process.
“He should be hailed by all as INEC was able to view results as the counting of votes was ongoing in units across the state. This has introduced another ornament of transparency in the way we do election in Nigeria.”
Obaseki praised the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for its tenacity and doggedness in ensuring the party got victory.
“Technology is the way to go, if we must have free, fair and credible elections in the future. Edo people spoke and their voices were heard because INEC did its best, did its job and decided to remain impartial in the whole process of the election.
“I also thank the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, for his fatherly role in ensuring that the election was peaceful. I thank Edo people and Clergy men for their prayers and support towards ensuring a successful election. I thank God for helping Edo State conduct an election which many predicted would be bloody and characterised by violence, but God stepped in and made it peaceful,” he added.