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Edo guber: Winners, losers, and implication for Nigeria

After the verbal missiles that were shot from different angles and by different individuals, the gubernatorial election in Edo State has eventually come and gone.

The winners and losers have also been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Whereas, the outcome has made some individuals politically stronger, it has however, dampened the political career of some others.

Among those whose political careers may have been boosted are Governor Godwin Obaseki, who has now been described as giant killer; Philip Shaibu, the re-elected deputy governor, members of the state House of Assembly who decided to swim or sink with Obaseki by defecting along with him, and of course, Governor Nyesom Wike, whose astuteness and political sagacity have continued to amaze the opposition. In fact, many have attributed the resounding victory to the presence of Wike in Edo, which they claimed may have scared riggers.

The Rivers State Governor, who was the chairman of the PDP campaign Council for the election, courageously led the umbrella party to victory. The people of Edo are also heavy gainers as Obaseki’s return may have saved the state from being hijacked by “lions and tigers” according to the governor.

The PDP is also a huge gainer. It moved from the main opposition party just yesterday to a ruling party in Edo, on a platter of gold.

On the other hand, the greatest loser appears to be Adams Oshiomhole, who was apparently hoping to relaunch back to national relevance using the Edo election as a springboard, assuming it went the way of the APC. Osagie Ize-Iyamu may have also been badly bruised by the development in Edo State. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has also become a big loser. From controlling a state as late as June to flatly losing it as a result of misadventure of a few individuals, the APC should be regretting by now for committing the political hara-kiri.

Unfortunately too, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the APC, has been named a big loser in Edo. Some observers have described the 5-minute comments on a television station recently, calling on the Edo people to reject Obaseki, as ill-advised. Today, he has dragged himself into an unnecessary fray.

Although the election was between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu, Nigerians across the country saw it as Oshiomhole’s battle. Before the exercise, silent prayers were said to have been mounted by many Nigerians, even those who were apolitical, for a possible victory for PDP just to teach Oshiomhole a lesson.

The talk in town and the expectation of many has been a resounding defeat of Oshiomhole, who many saw as not only arrogant but had arrogated to himself the powers that were far above him.

Oshiomhole’s grandstanding had infuriated many Nigerians to no end.

Obaseki’s victory is seen as having a far-reaching implication for Nigeria and may have written a new chapter on how Nigerians should approach elections going forward.

Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general election, said: “No victory could be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the governor, and the good people of Edo State for their resilience in the face of the forces arrayed against them.”

Before the election, it was thought that the security agents would be compromised and that the INEC could be brow-beaten to do the unthinkable.

A pointer that the Oshiomhole factor may have ended in Edo politics is the huge gap between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu’s results. Even when Oshiomhole supported Obaseki in 2016, he was only able to garner 52.09percent against Ize-Iyamu’s 41.28 percent. Today, with Oshiomhole’s support for Ize-Iyamu, the pastor and politician grossed 13.25 percent, whereas Obaseki polled 86.75 percent.

What happened in Edo may have sent warning signal to those who parade themselves as political godfathers, who have also held down the country by masquerading as thin-gods. Edo may have shown that godfatherism has become moribund and anachronistic.

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