President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as Edo State governor, after he has been declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Earlier today, the INEC Returning Officer for the state election, Professor Akpofure Rem-Rukeh, declared the governor as the winner at the office of the electoral umpire in Benin City, which doubled as the final collation centre.
While making the declaration, the returning officer said, “That Godwin Obaseki of PDP having satisfied the requirements of the law in meeting the 25 percent in two-third of the local government areas in the state and having a margin of lead higher than the canceled votes is hereby declared the winner and returned elected,” Professor Rem-Rukeh who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Petroleum Resources, stated.
The governor secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than his closest rival Ize-Iyamu, who got 223, 619 votes.
A total of 14 political parties fielded candidates to jostle for the office of the governor in the state.
In a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President commended the election process in the state, reiterating the government’s commitment to free and fair elections.
“My commitment to free and fair elections is firm because, without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak,” he said.
“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.
“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”
Speaking further, President Buhari also commended the people of the state, the parties, candidates, and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.
The Edo State governorship poll is the first major election to be conducted by INEC since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
While it held in some places in line with the COVID-19 protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the compliance level was very low in other polling areas.
Preliminary reports from some electoral observers have held that it was mostly peaceful and largely free and fair.