Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor, on Tuesday, said Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, immediate past national chairman of the party, and some politicians are threats to Nigeria’s democracy.
Obaseki, who won his reelection in last Saturday’s governorship election, said this when he appeared on The Morning Show of ARISE TV.
Tinubu had in a broadcast called on the people of Edo to reject Governor Obaseki at the poll, claiming the governor does not deserve a single vote for being a dictator.
Oshiomhole, who nominated Obaseki as his successor in 2016, also promised to remove him as governor.
Obaseki, however, emerged victorious at the poll, defeating APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, by securing 307,955 votes across 18 local government areas while Ize-Iyamu polled 223,619 votes.
Describing Tinubu and others like him as extra-constitutional players, Obaseki said they constitute a threat to Nigeria’s democracy, adding that Tinubu claims to be the national leader of the APC even though the party’s constitution has no such position.
“For us, the challenge with people like Oshiomhole and Ahmed Tinubu is that they change their style and attitude, they pose a big danger to our democracy because they are extra-constitutional players.
“They are non-constitutional actors. There is no role; the role of leader. There is nothing in the constitution of our country or the constitution of that party giving the role of leader. The title leader has no role, no constitutional backing.
“I think titles should be earned out of respect, out of consideration of fact that they have been useful but it does not give them any constitutional role. They cannot sit in the comforts of their houses or wherever and determine who gets into what office and even when those people get into office, how they should conduct themselves. It is very anti-democratic.
“They have constituted themselves into what they say they are without any constitutional responsibility and trying to overlord themselves over people who have constitutional authority and if we allow them to continue in the mold they are, it will destroy our democracy and for me, it is straightforward.
“It is not about personal issues but about their role in our democracy. You cannot have people who are elected and guided by the constitution in office and people who don’t have such mandate or authority or any checks on their conduct to come and say they want to control people who have been properly constituted in office.”
Speaking further, Obaseki said that he had no intention of driving Oshiomhole out of town as he (Obaseki) threatened during the governorship campaign as long as he maintains his peace and did not foment trouble in the state.
Obaseki, who accused Oshiomhole of causing disharmony between him and Ize- Iyamu, said he would not fold his arms and watch people like Oshiomhole continue to fund tigers and lions that will threaten security in Edo State.
“I don’t have any plans to drive him out of town. But if he continues to behave the way he has always done, if he continues to be disruptive, if he continues to flaunt his lions and tigers in Edo State and tries to create problems for us here, then we would not have any mercy. So it is totally up to him,” he said.
When asked if he would forgive the former labour leader for his conduct during the campaigns, Obaseki said Oshiomhole betrayed his trust, adding that both men should maintain their lanes.
He also said he had nothing against businessman and philanthropist, Captain Hosa Okunbo, for the roles he played during the election.
“For Oshiomhole, I won’t want to say much here. But when you find that you have been deceived, you don’t share the same values, you don’t trust at all.
“It is his responsibility to rebuild that trust and to show if his values align with what we represent as a people. Clearly, I am not God but I will say he should stay on his lane while I maintain mine.”
On concerns that he will soon dump the PDP for his former party, Obaseki said, “I won the election on the platform of the PDP. I think it will be immoral and unfair to even have any other consideration at this point about leaving the platform that gave me the mandate,” he said.
“There must be moral in politics, people must be ethical. At this point in time, I do not think it is a proper thing to do, to jettison the party that has brought me into the party. Particularly, I have no issues or challenge with the party now.”
INEC Presents Certificates Of Return To Gov. Obaseki, Shaibu
Meanwhile, Godwin Obaseki, Edo State governor-elect, on Tuesday, received his certificate of return, calling on former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole; governorship candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and other members of the APC to join hands with his administration to develop the state.
He received the document as governor-elect for the September 19 governorship election at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Obaseki commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that the governorship election was free, fair, and credible.
He added that the president had the option to ensure the APC candidate won the governorship election in the state but decided to do the right thing and allowed the votes of the people to count.
“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for the part he played in ensuring a free, fair, and credible election.
“He will be remembered as the father of democracy in Nigeria. He had a choice to ensure his party was declared the winner but insisted that the right thing be done,” he said.
Obaseki urged members of the opposition party, the APC, to join hands with his administration to move Edo State forward.
“I use this opportunity to reach out to our brothers on the other side of the divide as we are one family in the pursuit to provide public good for our citizens.
“The election shows that they trust us more now to provide leadership. It doesn’t mean the opposition parties don’t have a role to play,” he said.
He added: “I use this opportunity to extend the right hand of fellowship to my brother, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his other colleagues in the APC, as well as other parties, to join hands with us to move Edo forward.
“I call on Adams Oshiomhole that the fight is over and he should come and join in building the house which he was part of, in laying the foundation. We have no malice but only disagree on the approach in moving Edo forward.”
The governor commended the leadership of INEC for their unbiased role in the election and the commission’s national chairman’s ability to withstand pressure as an umpire.
He stated: “I want to thank the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for his intellect in introducing technology to provide transparency in the process.
“He should be hailed by all as INEC was able to view results as the counting of votes was ongoing in units across the state.
“This has introduced another ornament of transparency in the way we do elections in Nigeria.”
Obaseki praised the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for its tenacity and doggedness in ensuring the party got the victory.
“Technology is the way to go if we must have free, fair, and credible elections in the future.
“Edo people spoke and their voices were heard because INEC did its best, did its job and decided to remain impartial in the whole process of the election.
“I also thank the Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, for his fatherly role in ensuring that the election was peaceful.
“I thank Edo people and clergymen for their prayers and support towards ensuring a successful election.
“I thank God for helping Edo State conduct an election which many predicted would be bloody and characterised by violence, but God stepped in and made it peaceful.”
The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Edo, Bayelsa, and Rivers states, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, said the presentation of certificate of return was in fulfilment of the statutory obligation of the commission as required by the electoral law.
Oba Of Benin Thanks Buhari, Congratulates Obaseki
The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that Edo election was free, fair, and violence-free.
Ewuare also congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki for his re-election for a second term in office.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr. Frank Irabor, the Secretary of the Benin Traditional Council, made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Benin.
According to Ewuare, on numerous occasions, the Benin throne is non-partisan so that on election day let the people speak because the voice of the people is the voice of God.
The Benin monarch urged the people of the state to support the governor on his developmental strides in order to take Edo to the next level.