President Muhammadu Buhari received the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Phillip Shuaibu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, September 25.
This was after Obaseki, a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes to defeat APC’s Ize-Iyamu, who secured 223,619 votes during the just-completed Edo State Gubernatorial Elections.
Speaking at the meeting, President Buhari reiterated that the interest of the people of Edo State was supreme over the interest of his party. “I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after beating my party. I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not, but my single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer,” President Buhari said.
“My single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer. That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police, that elections must be free and fair. I know we are a developing country, a developing economy and trying to develop our political culture. I want the development of political culture to be based on integrity and accountability,” Buhari added.
In response, Governor Godwin Obaseki praised the president for his stance on the election despite belonging to the country’s ruling party. “The whole world has acclaimed that Edo election was perhaps one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria. This could not have been possible without your insistence that the right things be done, and for that, we want to say thank you very much,” Obaseki said.
Obaseki also debunked rumours circulating that he may return to the APC, a party he left after being disqualified from seeking re-election by the APC national working committee. He said that his rumoured return to the APC is ‘against Buhari’s gospel of integrity’ which he believes in.