The people of Edo State in the south-south region of Nigeria have re-elected Godwin Obaseki as governor for another four-year term.
For the second time, Obaseki in a fiercely competitive guber race defeated his opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The incumbent governor and flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party led with 308,125 votes against Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress, who polled 223,622, according to the final results announced on Sunday in Benin City, capital of Edo by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The vote margin of 16 percent recorded in favour of governor Obaseki is bigger than the difference of 12 percent recorded in the 2016 election when Ize-Iyamu, then a candidate of PDP lost to his rival who was then the flagbearer of APC. In that election, Obaseki led with 319,483 against Ize-Iyamu’s 253,173 votes.
Four years after, Obaseki repeated his victory, with a wider margin despite joining PDP a few days to the party’s primary.
Edo state is made up of 18 local government areas, namely Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Central, Owan West, Owan East, Akoko Edo, Esan South-East, Igueben, Esan North East, Esan West and Esan Central.
Others are Oredo, Ovia South West, Ovia North East, Uhunmwode, Egor, Ikpoba Ikha, and Orhionmwon.
Governor Obaseki won in 13 local government areas in two senatorial districts including his local government, Oredo where he polled 43,498 votes against his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu who scored 18, 365 votes.
Ize-Iyamu won only in five local government areas, all in Edo North Senatorial District which comprises Akoko Edo, Etsako Central, Etsako East, Etsako West, and Owan East. But he narrowly lost to Obaseki in Owan West by 292 votes.
Several pre-election polls conducted had predicted a win for Obaseki.
With his victory, Obaseki became the first governor who had won twice as a candidate of two opposing political parties since the return of civil rule in 1999.
His victory inadvertently has returned Edo to the political leadership of PDP after a 12-year hiatus, starting with the victory of APC/ACN Comrade Adam Oshiomhole in 2008.