- ‘Reject Obaseki….He Is Against democracy’, Tinubu Pleads With Edo Voters, Roots For Ize-Iyamu
- ‘Turn Out En-Masse… For Obaseki, Defend Your Votes’, Atiku Replies Tinubu, Urges Edo Voters
By Gbenga Abulude (Politics & General Desk)
Four days to the Edo governorship election, two political juggernauts in the country, on Tuesday canvassed for votes on behalf of their party’s candidates in a last-minute move to rally support among the Edo electorate.
Former Vice-President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Tuesday, urged Edo people to vote for the incumbent governor and PDP Governorship candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki.
Atiku on his verified Twitter handle, stated that, the people of Edo need a secured environment to cast their votes and be assured that their votes will count.
Atiku urged those who truly care about the wellbeing of Edo to throng the polling booths and vote for Obaseki.
But a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu averred that Obaseki does not deserve a single vote in the Saturday’s election.
Tinubu in a sponsored broadcast on TVC gave reasons why Obaseki is the wrong man for the governor of Edo State, urging the people to go out en-masse for the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Tinubu, a former chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition(NADECO), an umbrella coalition of pro-democracy activists which was led by the respected first Republic nationalist, iconic journalist, first-class parliamentarian, late Chief Anthony Enahoro, the Adolor of Uromi in present day Edo State, accused Obaseki of undermining democratic values and institutions in Edo state.
Chief Enahoro, an accomplished parliamentarian representing the Esan people in pre-independence era at the Federal Parliament was the first Nigerian to move the historic motion for self-government for Nigeria in 1953, pontificating that it was critical that Britain grants self-government status to Nigeria in 1956.
Thus for a state like Edo where such an iconic nationalist hails from during his life-time to be accused of undermining democratic values had expectedly triggered concerns as to why its governor would refuse to swear in 14 duly elected members of its State House of Assembly.
Apparently leveraging on this, Tinubu accused Obaseki of engaging in acts of dictatorship, saying “he demonstrated the act of dictatorship, lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for you the people who voted for those legislators prevented from being sworn-in. Today, he now comes back as a democrat wanting you to vote for him. Please, I appeal to you, reject him.”
Atiku in his post said, “The democracy that we enjoy today was bought at a great price. We can only deepen and sustain it by respecting the sanctity of the ballot and necessary review of our electoral processes.
The democracy that we enjoy today was bought at a great price. We can only deepen and sustain it by respecting the sanctity of the ballot and necessary review of our electoral processes. #DemocracyDay2020
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) September 15, 2020
“As the great people of Edo State go to the polls to elect their governor this weekend, they need to be provided with a secured environment to cast their votes and be assured that their votes will count.
“I urge all duly registered voters of conscience and who truly care about the wellbeing of Edo to turn out enmasse to cast and defend their vote for Governor Obaseki. #DemocracyDay2020”.
Tinubu in his broadcast went down the memory lane, on how Obaseki was not among the people that paid the price for the current democracy the nation is benefiting from.
He accused the governor of not following the rule of law, by his unfair treatment of 14 elected lawmakers in Edo, refusing to swear them in and denying them access to the Assembly complex even when the National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation advised him to do otherwise.
TINUBU explains why Obaseki must be rejected by all DEMOCRATS in EDO State…. pic.twitter.com/O8Y8TNs96s
— Ayekooto (@DeeOneAyekooto) September 15, 2020
Tinubu in his viral broadcast video said, “I want to appeal to you to reject Godwin Obaseki in this coming election. I have suffered with many others to bring about this democratic regime, that today, we are enjoying in the country. Then, Godwin Obaseki didn’t participate in any aspect of the struggle to enshrine democracy in the country.
“Therefore, he could not understand the value and the pains associated with this democratic struggle. He demonstrated the act of dictatorship, lack of respect for rule of law, lack of respect for you the people who voted for those legislators prevented from being sworn-in. Today, he now comes back as a democrat wanting you to vote for him. Please, I appeal to you, reject him.
“Several institutions and leaders of our country appealed to him to respect constitutional democracy but he rejected all entreaties. He rejected the appeal of the National Assembly.
“When the Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enumerated the path of honour and the constitution of the country, rather than obey and respect the law, he vandalised the House of Assembly in Edo by removing the roofs, burning gravels and rocks at the entrance of the House of Assembly only to prevent these 14 members from being sworn-in. Now, he is asking for our votes, your votes, our dear people. Is he a democrat? No, he is not.” Tinubu said.
Recall that in June, after Obaseki decamped to PDP, Atiku in solidarity with him directed that his 150 independent support groups in Edo, who laboured for his presidential campaign should be immediately activated in preparation for the governorship election.
Meanwhile, Tinubu is an ally of former APC Chairman and immediate past Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who had been at logger heads with Governor Obaseki over different issues in the state. The former Lagos governor has mobilized massive support to ensure APC’s Ize-Iyamu comes out tops at the poll this Saturday as Edo voters decide.