President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, swiftly congratulated Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who posted a resounding victory in last Saturday’s governorship election, beating his main challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
For Obaseki’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was a spectacular rebound under its fire-spitting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, reclaiming a state it lost in 2012.
Buhari, according to a statement by one of his spokespersons, Malam Garba Shehu, commended the election process, which led to the victory of Obaseki, saying he was committed to free and fair polls.
He also said without the conduct of free and fair polls, the foundation of democracy would be weak and party politics would amount to nothing.
The president 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.”
Buhari also commended the people of Edo State, the political parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.
The governor, in his appreciation message, also saluted Buhari, INEC, security agencies, and other stakeholders, who participated in the conduct of the gubernatorial election for ensuring a free, peaceful, and credible poll in the state.
Obaseki said: “The great people of Edo State have spoken. They have spoken loud and clear. We thank God Almighty and give him all the glory for this victory.
“Thank you, President Muhammadu Buhari, for defending our democracy and allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to perform their constitutional functions without interference.
“INEC and the security services have shown to Nigerians and the world that they are capable of conducting free and credible elections.”