President of the Senate, David Mark, said on Tuesday that the outcome of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State was a hard lesson for the Peoples Democratic Party. Mark, who spoke at the confirmation of three Resident Electoral Commissioners, said the re-election of Governor Adams Oshiomhole offered some lessons for the PDP in the conduct of free and fair elections.
The Senate President’s position coincided with an admonition by an aide of President Goodluck Jonathan that state governors should take a cue from Oshiomhole’s victory. Mark said, “I believe that the legacy all of us here would like to leave behind is that elections in this country will be free. “And I think that is a hard lesson that the ruling party has learnt from the Edo election. We hope that when these three nominees go there, they will ensure that elections are free, fair and that they are credible and that the PDP government will like to ensure that.”
Oshiomhole defeated the PDP candidate, Maj.-Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, with a wide margin. While the Edo governor polled 477,478 to secure his re-election, the PDP candidate scored 144, 235 votes. The three nominees cleared by the Senate as RECs for the Independent National Electoral Commission are: Mr. Habu Zarma Hinna, Gombe State; Mr. Ikoiwak Aniedi-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State; and Mr. Baritor Lenusikpugi Kpagih, Rivers State.
The Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, said that the return of Oshiomhole as the winner of the Edo State governorship election under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria showed the level of seriousness Jonathan attached to ensuring the conduct of free, fair and credible elections
Meanwhile, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum said on Tuesday that the people of Edo State were solidly behind Oshiomhole. The governors, in their congratulatory message to Oshiomhole, which was signed by the Forum’s Director-General, Mr. Asishana Okauru, also extolled the virtue of the voters during the election.
“As the governor is inaugurated for a second term, we urge him to put behind him the acrimony and controversy that characterised electioneering in the state in the past few months and begin earnestly to give quality governance to the people of the state,” the Forum added.