The supreme court of Nigeria last week upheld the election of Mr. Godwin Obaseki as the duly elected governor of Edo state sealing the hope of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to hustle its way back to Denis Osadebey Avenue.
A seven-member panel of Justices of the apex court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen dismissed the appeal filed by Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2016 governorship election in the state.
The Justice Ahmed Badamasi-led three member panel of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, had earlier dismissed Ize-Iyamu’s petition for lacking in merit. Justice Badamasi held that PDP and its candidate failed in all fronts to prove the allegations as pleaded in their petitions
With this development, the PDP and my friend, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has come to the end of the road of the challenge. Edo people are particularly pleased with the supreme court judgement because it went as predicted by some of us in our earlier publications. It was obvious that some people were simply sucking Ize-Iyamu dry because the PDP lawyers did a very bad job ab initio and they were not telling him the truth all the way. The PDP hangers-on did not also help him. They gave him pseudo-hope all the way even while milking him.
The party’s chairman, Mr. Dan Orbih needs to throw in the towel at this point. He needs to step down as Chairman of the party as he is notorious for loosing elections since he assumed office as PDP chairman. He needs to give way at this point and allow internal democracy to throw up someone else, if the remnants of the party know their onions.
But of particular note is the fact that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu immediately after the Supreme Court judgement congratulated Mr. Godwin Obaseki. That is very good for the politics of Edo State. That was long expected as it shows the spirit of good sportsmanship. That is what happens in advanced democracies. Once you are trounced convincingly, you congratulate your opponent. Contestants should learn to accept defeat and save their constituents of the agony of going through long judicial processes to prove needless points, particularly when the election is free and fair, more so, when you know you do not have evidence to substantiate claims of electoral fraud as was the case of the Edo PDP.
Edo people and other watchers of the politics of the state are also pleased with Governor Godwin Obaseki’s magnanimity in victory as he reportedly extended the olive branch to the PDP and other opposition political parties to join hands with his government to develop Edo State. This is also very good for Edo State.
The governor, however, was clear that the opposition parties should not expect political appointments, as his administration was that of All Progressives Congress (APC), and would respect the dictates of the party’s constitution.
The governor rightly noted that members of the opposition political parties in the state were no less Edo citizens, as he encouraged them to join hands with his administration. The Governor even expressed his readiness to give them the opportunity to build and develop the state, and make it the economic hub of the nation.
This is where one would encourage Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to consider returning to the APC which we all founded along with 12 others as Grace Group which metamorphosed into Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Osagie Ize-Iyamu does not really belong to the PDP as he met strange bed fellows who were bent on draining him.
Ize-Iyamu can leverage on the olive branch of Mr. Godwin Obaseki and join him to develop the state and forget the blind opposition of Mr. Dan Orbih in the state. This should be a serious food for thought for Ize-Iyamu.
But above all, now that the Edo PDP has come to a dead end of its judicial onslaught against the winners of the September 18 2016 governorship poll, Edo people should now weave their support round the government to enable Mr. Obaseki and his cabinet deliver dividends of democracy to the people of the state who willingly and convincingly voted for the All Progressives Congress.
• Mr. Dan Owegie is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo State.