Nigerians have commended the introduction of election result sheet upload ahead of physical collation which was experimented in Edo State leading to the victory of the people.
A candidate in the November 2019 Governorship elections in Kogi State on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti, said this in her congratulatory message to the Edo State Governor.
She said the victory of Obaseki transcends political party as it demonstrated the will of a people in choosing their leader pointing out that true democratic power belongs to the People as against godfatherism which undermines the political system.
“Godfatherism breeds criminal politics usurps the rights and choices of the people; and worsens the sociopolitical development of Nigeria.
“Eradicating this vice will do Nigeria’s democracy a whole lot of good.”
She commended the Edo people for their resilience in the face of intimidation as they came out en mass to exercise their franchise without fear or favour.
According to her Obaseki was a performer having done well in his first tenure, the people connected well with him and ensured they voted for him because they are tired of Godfatherism.
She also said the United States Government visa ban on riggers of Kogi /Bayelsa election may have cautioned as it also served as a deterrence keeping many of the would-be riggers at bay.
She said the United Kingdom also helped when they threatened to seize assets of such politicians who are quick to rigging to ensure they win at all costs.
“I applaud INEC for that, they were able to use technology updating and uploading as the results were coming in so that did not give room for manipulation of results.
“The basic is that he is a performing Governor and he has done quite well and his people connected with him within his first term and they all look forward to better performance considering the fact that he is going to have enough time to continue with completing his projects.
“I am proud that his people came out en mass without fear and voted for him. That is what democracy is all about when the people are given the chance to choose their rightful leaders as against imposition from Godfathers.
“I hope that every Nigerian will learn from this election outcome and apply this lesson to Ondo election and the 2023 presidential and Governorship election. We should avoid Godfatherism at all costs because it breeds corrupt politics.”
Executive Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan. Also applauded the innovation by INEC to upload result from the polling units eliminating any form of result changing between the polling unit and the collation centres at all levels.
In his reaction to the outcome of the election, Samson Ezenwa said the pattern of the Edo election throw up a new challenge of advocacy by the independent national electoral Commission and other stakeholders.
He argued that while a preferred candidate emerged, vote-buying was the other of the day this is a dent on the victory because it cast a blight on the process.
He maintained that the people must be sensitised to know that the election must be free of any form of inducements for them to make their choice.
His word: “Edo election is signalling a very dangerous trend for the growth of our democracy.
“In 2016 Edo introduced ‘see and buy’ in 2020 they upped the ante in vote-buying. While I am happy that the prediction of violence, doom and death was averted by the intervention of his royal majesty, the Oba of Benin. I am very worried and concern about the continuous role of money in our election.
“If people commit a crime, it is a crime. The justification of collecting money and voting otherwise should not be celebrated because conscience and crime do not go together.
“We have a responsibility to right the narrative, there was a time we say to collect the money and vote your conscience. I have challenged that often, you are telling that person to commit a crime.
“The law of our country views voter inducement as a crime. Now, look at the consequences. I went to observe the election at Orhionmwon LGA because of bad roads, we had to turn back because there was no road to get to the place we want to go and observe.
“So the consequences of voter inducement will mean that in the next three months journalists will be talking about the issue governance of Edo State.
“By that time the excitement would have faded away from the opposition party, there is something that is being plundered in the resources of Edo State that is the truth.
He said this is critical because politicians are arrogant and would start saying they bought votes not the other way round of being elected.