Now that Obaseki has won
Against all odds, Governor Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last Sunday was declared winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election held the previous day, Saturday, September 19, 2020.
Obaseki defeated his closest rival, Osagi Ize-Iyamu candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win a second term in office.
The governor emerged victorious after a bitter and tension-soaked electioneering by garnering a total of 307,955 votes, while the APC challenger polled 223,619 votes.
His victory at the poll and the manner the election was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been applauded by Nigerians; observers, describing it as a plus for the nation’s democracy.
By the victory, Governor Obaseki therefore made history by posting a second defeat of his old rival in the keenly contested election.
Both men had switched political platforms just before the election after their previous contest four years ago, which also ended in Obaseki’s favour.
For political watchers, Obaseki’s victory was a clear sign that the collective will of the people is more important in a democracy than the wish of a few individuals.
During the campaign, Bola Tinubu the APC national leader had urged the people of the state to reject and vote against Obaseki and the PDP, saying that the APC holds the way forward for a prosperous future for Edo State.
But analysts are of the view that the manner the people of Edo State rejected the APC and godfatherism and imposition of candidate was perhaps, a clear lesson for all Nigerians ahead of future elections.
They say Obaseki’s victory was a big dent on the ruling APC, and Adam Oshiomohole, in the main, with whom the governor had been embroiled in a bitter feud following their disagreement, politically.
Oshiomohole had subsequently facilitated the emergence of Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate and campaigned vigorously for him.
Now, after securing a second term for another four years in office, Obaseki, must realise that his overwhelming victory was made possible by the people of Edo State and was a clear indication of the confidence they repose in him, and he must not disappoint them.
Political watchers have advised that the governor must immediately put machinery in motion in a bid fulfil his campaign promises to the people of the state.
Obaseki should realise that as the governor of the state, he is the father of all, and must embrace everyone including those who worked against him in the election for peace to reign, while moving the state forward.
His MEGA programme of 12 point action plan, which entails key developmental programmes in education, health care, critical infrastructure, agriculture and natural resources, peace and security, environment, must be pursued to the core.
“The election has been commended by all Nigerians if that is the case it means he owes that mandate to the people. He must act it out in anything he would do in his second term. The people of Edo State must be paramount in his plans; he must keep a chart of his promises and follow up on them,” Chekwas Okorie, a former national chairman of the United Progressive Party of Nigeria (UPP), said.
Okorie, however, further stated that the governor must run open and transparent administration in which everyone should be carried along.
“Obaseki should let the people know the extent he is going to fulfil his promises; if he encounters economic challenge, he must let them know what he is facing and show good example; I mean what it takes to be a good governor,” Okorie added.
Speaking in similar vein, Adelaja Adeoye, a political commentator, advised Obaseki to extend an olive branch to his opponents, mend fences, so that he can concentrate to govern the state in peace.
According to him, “I want him to rally round all other opponents and extend olive branch to them, to make sure that there is peace and tranquility in the state. Political and economically, he must try and see how he can stabilise his economy and move on.”
“It is important that he consolidate on his achievement for him not to have distraction; he needs to have peace among other political parties and contestants. It is only when that is done that he can know he has a state,” he added.