…As Buhari Receives Obaseki, Shaibu
By Gbenga Abulude (Politics and General Desk)
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said by the time his administration is over, he would have left behind a legacy of political culture based on integrity.
Buhari said he was making efforts to ensure his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) is built on the rule of law and respect for human rights, an initiative he wants the National Working Committee (NWC) and the executives of the party to embrace
The president made this known when he received the re-elected Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Hon Philip Shaibu and a number of their supporters at the State House in Abuja.
Buhari also disclosed how he made sure votes were not rigged at the Edo election by giving a definite instruction to the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu to ensure the election was free and fair.
He added that his commitment to a credible election was also to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer.
“I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after defeating my party.
“I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not. My single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer. That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police, that elections must be free and fair.
“If contestants have too much money and they decide to spray, so be it. But what I insist is, nobody should go and raise a counter force to the government, arm heavily-drugged thugs to go and humiliate people.
“I want Nigerians to appreciate that I respect them as Nigerians and that I am bound by the oath I have taken, that their security is in the hands of God and in the hands of the government, which I am leading.
“We have lost states across the country. Now I do not like to escape the responsibility, seeing as the leader of the country, I am also the leader of my party, that I am not leading the party very well.
“I am trying to make sure that the party is built on a civilised basis, rule of law and respect for human rights and human beings, right from polling units to local governments, to states up to Abuja and that is what I have been insisting as my contribution to the National Working Committee and executive of the party.
“I know we are a developing country, a developing economy and trying to develop our political culture.
“I want the development of political culture to be based on integrity and accountability. Let people work very hard and earn what they are looking for through their hard work and through fair competition,” the president said.
Buhari jocularly said he was congratulating the Edo governor “reluctantly” because he defeated the candidate of his party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
In his remarks, Obaseki thanked Buhari for ensuring that fair play reigned during the election on September 19 which saw him victorious.
“You would recall a couple of weeks before the election, I came to see you and you assured me that we were going to have a free, peaceful and credible election.
“That is what we had during the election of September 19 and the whole world has acclaimed that Edo election was perhaps one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria.
“This could not have been possible without your insistence that the right things be done, and for that, we want to say thank you very much.”
Obaseki also thanked the President for his congratulatory message, assuring him that the message “has been internalised, that it is God that made this election possible, therefore I should be humble about the election and also magnanimous in victory.”
He pledged his unalloyed loyalty and support and that of the people of Edo State to the President and the Federal Government.
Recall that Obaseki won the election with 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu, who polled 223,619.