Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his reelection, describing his victory in the Edo governorship election as end of ‘godfatherism’ in Nigeria politics.
Abubakar in a statement on Sunday said that the election marked a new dawn in Edo.
“There is a new wind of democratic change now blowing all over Nigeria. The forces of despotism, nepotism, and interlopers cannot successfully withstand this force.
“Nigeria shall soon be totally free from these forces.
“The only power that will stand in Nigeria is people power, not the power of godfathers or despots,” he said.
He added that the hard won victory of Obaseki was not just a victory, but a declaration of independence from the anti democratic forces.
“No victory can be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the governor and the good people of Edo for their resilience in the face of the forces arrayed against them.
“Edo has a rich history as the centre of black civilisation, and to this, she is adding a new history as the bastion of Nigerian democracy.
“This double whammy of ancient and modern glories is a testament to a people who have, for centuries, set the pace as a beacon of light on the African continent,” he said.
Abubakar congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party, for standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the people of Edo and their government, in good and bad times.
He said that the PDP had shown that it was not fair weather friends to the good people of Edo.
Abubakar said, “In good times, we will walk beside you. In bad times, we will be your true ‘comrade’. We will never be a turncoat.
“We will never abandon the principles we once espoused, so we can dine with our nemesis. Democracy has no nemesis. And this, the PDP has again proved,” he said.
Abubakar commended the Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Ewuare II, for the fatherly role he played as a neutral catalyst for peace in the election.
He said that the Saturday election was largely free from violence, a testament of the long and effective shadow he casts over his domain.
The former vice president said he looked forward to the continuation of four more years of tangible development, and people-centred leadership from Obaseki.
“From personal experience, I know Obaseki to be a magnanimous man, and I urge Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to accept the right hand of fellowship that is likely to be extended to him,” he said.
Abubakar also advised Ize-Iyamu to return to PDP, saying, “I remind him that no matter how far one has gone on a wrong road, it is never too late to turn back and head in the right direction. The PDP is the right direction.”
Abubakar advised the people of Ondo State to demonstrate what the people of Edo had done in the forthcoming election.
“To the good people of Ondo State, my message to you is that freedom from the oppressive grasp of godfathers and external forces that seek to dominate your will, and eviscerate your treasury, is possible.
“Edo has done it. You can do it too!,” he added.