ABUJA – A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said that the outcome of the Edo State governorship election held over the weekend should serve as a big lesson to the political leaders and political parties not to take the electorate and the people for granted.
Speaking to the Daily Sun on telephone shortly after the emergence of the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki as the winner of the poll, Odigie-Oyegun, a former governor of the Edo State, argued that the people have not only proven to be wiser than their leaders but are also ready to punish their leaders when they step out of the lines.
While expressing satisfaction that the people of Edo State have finally overcome the two years torturous situation, he however attributed the peaceful outcome of the election to the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Oba of Benin, among many other leaders.
He also noted that the outcome of the election can be compared to the concession by former President Goodluck Jonathan to the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election, stressing that he has no remorse over his actions and inactions in the build-up to the poll.
“It is good that it has come and gone so that we can enjoy our peace of mind once again. It was really two years of torture to the people of Edo State. Giving the tension to the run-up to the election, I can say that we can now put this behind us now.
“I have to thank all those who intervened especially the Oba of Benin, the National Peace Committee headed by former head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, among others.
“I want to thank, in a special way, President Buhari especially as it was obvious that he did not give instructions that Edo should be delivered at all cost. If he had done that, there would have been massive bloodshed. We owe him gratitude over that.
“Even his body language confirmed that he send signal to everybody to let the people have their say and way. He has saved Edo State which has been under torture for two years now. Now we can have peace of mind,” he noted.
On the lesson learnt from the governorship poll, he said: “The outcome of the election should be a major lesson to everybody, and I can say that outside the concession by former President Jonathan when the APC won the Presidential election in 2015, this is the second most important and most significant election held in recent time.
“The people are now telling the whole country that their leaders should not take them as fools and or for granted. The people have now proven to be wiser than their leaders and are ready to punish their leaders when they step out of lines.
“This should be a major lesson to all the political actors and the political parties not just the APC. They must all pay attention to the fact that they should never take their followers and the people for granted,” he noted.
The former national chairman also maintained that he has no remorse over his actions and inactions throughout the build up the election, insisting: “I stood my grounds because for me, black is black and white is white.
“That is the major thing for me. I did not do anything to deserve commendation but as a matter of principle I will go to any length to maintain that position,” he said. (Sunday Sun)