Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said the victory of Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, in Saturday’s governorship election has marked an end to godfatherism and militarism in Nigeria’s political system.
In a congratulatory message to Obaseki, Atiku also commended the people of Edo State, and the Peoples Democratic Party, for their resilience before and during the election.
The statement, which Atiku personally signed, read, “There is a new dawn in Edo state, and the hard won victory of Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki is not just a victory, but a declaration of independence from the anti-democratic forces of godfatherism and militarism.
“No victory could be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the governor, and the good people of Edo State 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.
“I most heartily congratulate the Peoples Democratic Party, who stood shoulder to shoulder, with the people of Edo and their government, in good times and bad.
“We, in the PDP, have shown that we are not fair-weather friends to the good people of Edo.
“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.
“I look forward to the continuation of four more years of tangible development, and people-centred leadership from Governor Obaseki.
“I also seize this opportunity to thank His Royal Highness, 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.
“That this election was, by and large, free from violence, is a testament of the long and effective shadow he casts over his domain.
“From personal experience, I know Governor 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.
“The leprous hand he is now holding can only lead to a destination of barrenness. He is amongst strange bedfellows, and 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.”
Atiku, who was the presidential candidate in the 2015 general elections, equally called on the people of Ondo State to resist any attempt by a godfather to impose his will on them during the forthcoming governorship poll in the state.
He said, “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!
“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, from Kaura Namoda, to Lagos. The only power that will stand in Nigeria is people’s power, not the power of godfathers, or despots.”