Edo 2020 Guber Election Lessons
The 2020 Edo governorship election has been lost and won on Saturday, September 19. On Sunday, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as duly elected.
Mr. Obaseki is the incumbent governor and decamped from the party that gave him a platform in 2016 to the main opposition over disagreement with his then main backer and then National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
“Godwin Obaseki of the PDP, having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner,” Johnson Alalibo, the chief returning officer of the INEC announced.
Obaseki polled 307,955 votes to defeat his main rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 223,619 votes.
The PDP candidate won in 13 of the 18 local government areas and thus scored more than 25 per cent of votes cast in two-thirds of the local governments in the state to satisfy the second constitutional requirement to be declared governor.
Ize-Iyamu, on the other hand, won the remaining five local governments, including his main backer Mr Oshiomole’s Etsako West but lost his home LGA of Orhionmwmwon.
While it is granted that that there was marked improvement in the whole process, the issues of ballot box snatching, vote buying and violence still remain to be sorted out.
The electoral commission ought to be commended for defying its perennial logistics nightmare as indications were that materials got to the polling units as at when due.
Also, the uploading of results immediately on to a virtual platform is a plus for the INEC. This signposts the need for an accelerated amendment of the Electoral Act to give room for electronic voting and transmission of results.
To do so will eliminate the violence and snatching of ballot boxes as is the experience now.
It is instructive that President Muhammadu Buhari wasted no time in congratulating the winner on the victory as this will send a strong message to those that might be conceiving some mischief.
The president could not have said it any better than when he said, “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. 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.”
To demonstrate his commitment, President Buhari should set in motion the need for an amendment of the Electoral Act to cover electronic voting and a commission to deal with electoral malfeasances.
We also agree with former President Goodluck Jonathan who stressed that “democracy can only be consolidated to promote good governance in our nation and continent when our elections become credible, transparent and truly represent the wish of the voters.
“Democracy is about the good of all the people and not for winners and losers. As the election has been contested and won, I urge His excellency to rise above partisan politics and govern for the good of Edo people, irrespective of party leaning. This is the way to deepen our democracy and bring development to the people.”
This newspaper’s expectation is that what has transpired in Edo state will be replicated in Ondo state and even better.
It is time that power truly resides with the people, and the time is NOW!
© 2015 The Abuja Inquirer | Newspaper. Designed by G E Springfield