INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, said Obaseki polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu, who got 223,619 votes.
Obaseki was elected on APC’s platform in 2016 but defected to the PDP after being denied the ticket owing to intra-party squabbles.
El-Rufai said, “We (APC) would have loved to win and quite frankly, I was optimistic up to three weeks ago; the polls indicated that we were going to win. I don’t know what happened in the last three weeks of the campaign.
“As you know, a large number of voters make up their minds in the last two weeks of the election. Many voters decide no matter what happens, this is how I am voting but most people want to wait and make up their minds in the last two weeks.
“Three weeks ago, the polls clearly showed that APC was going to win but the result came out differently from what we expected.
“Obaseki has won, that’s it. You can’t go into an election without the possibility of losing.”
“The election was reasonably decent. We were all worried about violence but there was very little violence or none at all,” he added.
The governor also stressed that the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to free and fair elections.
The President had congratulated Obaseki on his re-election shortly after INEC announced him as the winner of the poll.