Obaseki is re-elected governor of Edo State in cut-throat guber race
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THE people of Edo State in the south-south region of Nigeria have re-elected Godwin Obaseki as governor for another four-year term.
For the second time, Obaseki in a fiercely competitive guber race defeated his opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The incumbent governor and flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party led with 307,955 votes against Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress who polled 223,619, according to the final results announced on Sunday in Benin City, capital of Edo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The vote margin of 16 percent recorded in favour of governor Obaseki is bigger than the difference of 12 percent recorded in the 2016 election when Ize-Iyamu, then a candidate of PDP lost to his rival who was then the flagbearer of APC.
In that election, Obaseki led with 319,483 against Ize-Iyamu’s 253,173 votes.
Four years after, Obaseki repeated his victory, with a wider margin despite joining PDP a few days to the party’s primary.
Edo state is made up of 18 local government areas, namely Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Central, Owan West, Owan East, Akoko Edo, Esan South-East, Igueben, Esan North East, Esan West and Esan Central.
Others are Oredo, Ovia South West, Ovia North East, Uhunmwode, Egor, Ikpoba Ikha, and Orhionmwon.
Governor Obaseki won in 13 local government areas in two senatorial districts including his local government, Oredo where he polled 43,498 votes against his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu who scored 18, 365 votes.
Ize-Iyamu won only in five local government areas, all in Edo North Senatorial District which comprises Akoko Edo, Etsako Central, Etsako East, Etsako West, and Owan East. But he narrowly lost to Obaseki in Owan West by 292 votes.
Several pre-election polls conducted had predicted a win for Obaseki.
The ICIR tracked six polls conducted online via websites and microblogs, all of which show that Obaseki is more popular than other contestants in the recently concluded election.
With this victory, Obaseki became the fifth governor who had won twice as a candidate of two opposing political parties since the return of civil rule in 1999.
The first is the former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed who won as PDP governor in 2011 and later as APC in 2015.
Same for Rochas Okorochas of Imo State who won under APGA in 2011 and APC in 2015.
There was also Peter Obi of Anambra state who also became governor as the flagbearer of APGA and later of PDP.
In 2019, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State defected from APC to PDP and won his re-election.
Obaseki’s victory inadvertently has returned Edo to the political leadership of PDP after a 12-year hiatus, starting with the victory of APC/ACN Comrade Adam Oshiomhole in 2008.
Professor Oserheimen Osunbor of PDP lost to ACN in 2008 after the court declared Oshiomhole the true winner of the gubernatorial elections, with 166,577 votes.
The tribunal invalidated 263,144 for the PDP and 30,610 for AC in two local government areas where massive rigging was recorded, therefore making way for the victory of Comrade Oshiomhole.
In 2012, ACN won again with 460,644 votes while PDP scored 139,122.
In 2016, APC scored 319, 483 and PDP scored 253,173.