EDO/By Dipo Awojobi – The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Edo State governorship election, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has been declared winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Obaseki polled 319,483 votes as against Ize-Iyamu’s 253, 173 votes. But the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ize Iyamu has rejected the results describing it as a rape of democracy.
INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, who declared Obaseki winner, said he had met all conditions required to be returned as governor elect for the state.
Obaseki had claimed an early lead in the poll, but half way into the election, the tie had been evenly posed with results appearing to be likely to swing in either candidate’s direction.
With results for nine of the 18 local government areas in the state collated around 11am, Obaseki had won five LGAs and polled 142,424 votes as against Ize-Iyamu’s four LGAs and 136,808 votes.
The results for the remaining nine local governments, however, saw the APC candidates lead widen, paving way for his victory.
The collation and announcement of the result was not without incident.
Hundreds of PDP supporters held a protest at the INEC office in Benin where the exercise was taking place.
The protesters alleged that results from their areas were manipulated and that there results were cancelled in areas that were PDP strongholds. They called on INEC to suspend collation of result from the areas, including Esan North-East LGA.
The protesters were, however, dispersed by the police with tear gas as the protest became more heated.
Also, some agents, including that of KOWA Party, called for the cancellation of the result, with others, including the APC candidate urging them to go to court.
Also, PDP’s agent, Chris Agbonwanegbe, refused to sign the result sheet, saying it was “rehearsed and produced”.