The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has issue Certificate of Return to the Edo state Governor-Elect Mr Godwin Obaseki who was winner of the September 28 governorship election in the state.
Giving his opening address, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Sam Olumekun who described the election as historic in the lives of the INEC and Edo people noted that an inconclusive election would have pinched the constitution as that was the reason why the election was postponed.
Mr Olumekun said, “It is a historic day not only in the lives of our new leaders but also in the lives of Edo state. It is the dawn of a new era.
“An inconclusive election would have pushed us to an electoral crisis with barely two week to the 30 days before handover, Edo people will appreciate why we had the election on September 28. That is why the commission left no stone unturned in conduction the September 28 election which was conclusive.
He thanked INEC official, security agencies and other stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful outcome noting that “of course you are aware that we did not lose any
He added that the job of “conducting an election is the joint duty of all stakeholders who play their part in ensuring a peaceful and credible election takes place urging Obaseki to “kindly remember that their interest and welfare is paramount”.
While presenting the certificate of return, the South-South National Commissioner, Dr Mustapha Muhammed said, “It is with great sense of duty that i have stand to perform this statutory duty of the INEC.
Dr Mustapha who said the card reader has come to stay to eliminate all forms of electoral fraud in the electoral process stressed that, “INEC will continue to ensure a free, fair and credible election across the country”.
Responding after the presentation of the certificate of return, the Governor-Elect Mr Godwin Obaseki who was in company of his Deputy Governor-Elect Hon Philip Shaibu thanked God and the people of Edo state for their support and noted that he was in the race to serve.
According to him, “Let me start by thanking God Almighty and also the REC and INEC Chairman for conducting what has been adjudged one of the most peaceful, free, fair and credible election in the state.
“I feel so exited today because i decided to enter politics because i felt it was time to expand the polity. I see my role as one of a touch bearer so as to attract resources into our democratic space.
He continued, “Because i was cognisant of the fact i had to run my campaign as professionally as possible dealing with the issues that concern our people and try to down play the non-issues. It has shown that today’s result can be proven, we can be professional, we can be honest, we can be open, we don’t have to tell lies, we don’t have to deceive our people to get electoral success.
“The events leading to the election and after have proven that you were as fair, transparent, and open as you possibly could be and the people of Edo state generally accepted the outcome of the election. You were efficient but not perfect.
“I fully understand the responsibility i am here to carry, i have the people of Edo state who have come out and gave me the responsibility of leading Edo.
“I want to assure everybody here that i decided to become governor because i want to serve and i will put your interest over and above my personal interest”.