The initiator and leader of the Edo Shall Rise Again (ESRA) movement, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah has described those alleging that the recently conducted governorship election in Edo state was rigged as clowns who are inconsequential, and wanting to hold on to anything to discredit the September 28 gubernatorial exercise to justify their failure.
Edo state-born Comrade Isah, who is the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami insisted that the exercise was free, fair and devoid of violence, rating the exercise as one of the best organized elections in the country.
Comrade Isah reiterated his earlier call that Muslims in the state should be adequately carried along in appointments by the Obaseki administration, especially at the highest level of governance, especially with their contribution in ensuring the recent victory.
He said the election which had agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at every point of the exercise cannot be said to have been flawed, stressing instead that it met global standard.
According to the Edo North born politician, actor and human rights activist, the people of the state have spoken by voting the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Godwin Obaseki as their governor-elect having rated him as the best choice in the process.
He declared that an election which involved about 19 political parties fielding candidates and every one of them endorsing the choice, except one, the PDP which out of sheer desperation have chosen to discredit the process; and so should and cannot be taken seriously.
Isah is also of the opinion that it is now apparent that PDP have met its waterloo and is dead and buried in Edo state having serially lost to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) twice in the past and now the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He advised the PDP candidate, Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu to desist from further rubbishing his political career and to reserve his strength for the 2020 election since he has become a serial gubernatorial aspirant, instead of dissipating his energy in a legal process to claim his alleged mandate that is bound to be fruitless.
The erstwhile two-time chairman, North West zone of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) and National Vice President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (North West) however advised the governor-elect to extend an olive branch to any political party that is willing to collaborate with his forthcoming administration to bring the state forward, pointing out that this includes the PDP if it is willing to.
“It is my candid belief that elections are now over and the business of moving Edo state forward should now take the front burner. The outgoing governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has done his best, and his huge legacy needs to be built upon. So, there is serious business ahead.
“The good is that the people of the state have spoken and this they have done with a loud voice by investing their fortune on the pair of Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and Hon. Phillip Shuaibu to steer the ship of state for the next four years.
“And painfully though, for those that have lost the election, of course; tomorrow is another day. There are many more governorship polls to be contested in the state in future. For now, the contest has been won and lost. I believe that for those sensible Edolites, the new challenge should be what development strides should be attracted to their constituencies.
Therefore, all hand must be on deck to face the new challenge so that Edo state should be better for it. We must take a cue from Lagos state who usually votes for continuity. Let me also use this opportunity to thank all Edo sons and daughters and citizens of other communities resident in Edo state who have been part of the violent-free electoral process on September 28 till date for a job welldone.
I want to particularly extend my gratitude to the Hausa/Fulani, Nupe and Ebira indigenes resident in the state for voting overwhelmingly for the Obaseki/ Shuaibu ticket. It is my candid opinion that they are the best pair Edo can wish for now.”