by Adeniyi Abdul
The Edo State gubernatorial elections have come and gone with Adams Oshiomhole emerging victor and retaining his position. The elections weren’t characterised as your typical Nigerian political proceedings might be (which, alone is saying a lot) with various promises, threats, warnings and downright outlandish statements being delivered from both ends of the Edo political spectrum: the Peoples Democratic Party and the Action Congress of Nigeria.
Check out the top 7 quotes below.
Research and a promise of victory
We begin a week ago with a PDP leader declaring that the party was sure of victory, as research had proven that the party’s candidate, Charles Airhiavbere, would garner the most votes in the state. Well, we know how that went.
“A research has been carried out in the past two weeks, which revealed that the PDP will garner 25 per cent of votes from Edo North, where Oshiomhole is from, 70 per cent from Edo Central, Chief Tony Anenih’s area, and will win Edo South by 60 per cent.” – PDP National Leader Samuel Ogbemudia
A high IQ to shake things up
Perhaps in a bid to play nice for a change, the PDP admitted that Adams Oshiomhole wouldn’t be an easy opponent, conceding that the Edo State Governor is intelligent and loved by the people.
“Not only is the governor intelligent, he has a very high IQ (Intelligent Quotient), and he is loved by the people.” – National leader of the PDP, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia.
Witty retorts and venomous jabs
Of course a simple acknowledgement of the Governor’s IQ could not stand in the way of the ACN delivering it’s own jab to PDP, with the latter mocking the former as “lazy” and promising them a surprise.
“The PDP is lazy about campaigns. It is relying on the use of imported thugs and touts into Edo State. They will be shocked to find that the ruling party in the state has tremendous goodwill to checkmate all their shenanigans.” – Director of Media and Publicity of the Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua
More finger pointing
The Action Congress of Nigeria also went further to accuse the PDP of various acts such as sponsoring violence and buying of voters cards to use in rigging. In an interview with The Punch, Edo ACN chairman, Thomas Okosun described the party as “desperate” and declared, of course, that they would fail.
“They have also been indulging in other acts: sponsoring violence and buying voter cards from prospective voters in the state. All these things are the antics of a desperate party, but the people of Edo are now wiser and cannot be hoodwinked. They will fail because all their evil plans will be checkmated. The people will monitor their votes right from the polling booth to the state INEC head office.”
Governor Oshiomhole, perhaps in a case of speaking too soon, declared the Independent National Electoral Commission a failure and an embarrassment earlier during election day for an alleged plot to frustrate voters and subsequently declare false results.
“They plan not to bring out the voting materials on time and as we speak in Oredo Local government area, Benin City and Egor local government area, the heart of Benin City materials have not got to majority of the polling booths after 11 am and at the New Era college upper mission road, they brought fake voters register different from the one the people registered,” he noted.
Prof Jega and INEC have been an embarrassment to the nation. I am in shock with all the arrangements they have made sensitizing the people, and I told them, INEC need to be sensitized. INEC is the weakest link in the Nigeria democratic chain. I have no faith in what INEC is doing in Benin City. – Governor Adams Oshiomhole
“Frenzied and desperate”, among other things
The Peoples Democratic Party took it upon themselves to respond to the Governor’s criticism of INEC, advising him to drop the “frenzied and desperate antics of intimidation and blackmail against the INEC” and “assist the electoral body to deliver on a credible election.”
“Reports that reached us from Oshiomhole’s area in Edo North indicated that under-age voters and persons without voter cards were not allowed to get into the premises of the polling station by security men. The governor gave himself away as a possible beneficiary of votes by these unqualified voters when he claimed that voters in the area have been disenfranchised. Is he saying those not qualified to vote should be allowed to do so?” – Director of Publicity of the PDP in Edo State, Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen.
A pat on the back
Governor Oshiomhole’s victory was received with congratulations from President Goodluck Jonathan, who apparently didn’t mind too much that the party to which he belongs suffered defeat.
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan congratulates Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on his re-election yesterday for another term in office. President Jonathan also commends the Independent National Electoral Commission, its personnel and the nation’s security services for ensuring that the elections were free and fair in keeping with his administration’s commitment to continually strengthening democracy in Nigeria through the establishment of a more credible electoral system.” – President Goodluck Jonathan.
All’s well that ends free and fair.