Edo elects a governor on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
Incumbent Governor Obaseki made the switch from Tinubu’s APC to the PDP in June after he was refused the governorship ticket on the platform of the former; and after falling out with his predecessor and godfather Adams Oshiomhole.
In a short address, Tinubu said Obaseki doesn’t know what it means to be a democrat and that he played no part in enshrining the nation’s current democratic dispensation.
“I want to appeal, as a committed democrat and a leader of all democrats, regardless of political party, to our conscience and commitment to democracy on the forthcoming election in Edo state.
President Muhammadu Buhari (Left) and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. [Twitter/@Buharisallau1]
“I want to appeal to you to reject Godwin Obaseki in this coming election,” Tinubu said.
“I have suffered with many others to bring about this democratic regime that today we are enjoying in our 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 that were associated with this democratic struggle. He was elected a governor by you people of great Edo State because he presented himself to you then as a democrat and he was sworn in after winning the election. No one prevented him from being sworn in,” he said.
Legislators Vs Obaseki
Tinubu added that the manner in which Obaseki dealt with lawmakers who chose a different path from his, should present a red flag for anyone who wants him reelected.
“Thereafter, members of the State Assembly who got elected along with him, specifically 24 of them. Out of this 24, he prevented 14 of them from being sworn-in. A lack of respect for you the people who voted for those legislators.
Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki. [Pulse]
“Today he now comes round 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 from the national assembly.
“When 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 state house of assembly in Edo by removing the roofs, pouring gravels on the entrances of the house of assembly only to prevent these 14 members from being sworn-in.
“Now he’s asking for your votes, our dear people. Is this a democrat? No. He does not deserve any democratic ballot paper. Don’t vote for him, I appeal to all of you.
“While maintaining peace and non violence on the day of the election, like he rejected the 14 members, you should reject him at the polls. Thank you very much,” Tinubu concluded.
The candidates in the race
The election is seen as a straight contest between Obaseki and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC. Both men squared up to each other in a televised debate on Sunday, September 13, 2020.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki (Right) and APC governorship candidate in Edo State, Osagie Ize-Iyamu (Left) [Twitter/@PastorIzeIyamu]
Other candidates who will also battle for residence of Edo Government House include Akhigbe Benjamin Ehiabi of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ibio Lucky Emmanuel of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Lucky Osagie Idehen of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Igbineweka Osamuede of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and Amos Osalumese Areloegbe of the Action Peoples Party (APP).
Also listed are Osifo Uhun-Ekpenma Isaiah of the Labour Party (LP), Stevie Nash Ozono of the Nigeria People’s Party (NRS), Felix Ikezoe Obayangbon of the SDP, Jones Osagiobare of Young Progressive Party (YPP), and Akhalamhe Amiemenoghena of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
35-year-old Obhafuoso Paul of the Action Alliance (AA) is the youngest candidate on the list, while Agol Ebun Tracy of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) is the only female candidate.