By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2019 election in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti has congratulated the incumbent Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki on his outstanding victory at the polls.
Akpoti in a telephone interview with journalists said the victory transcends political platforms because it shows that true power belongs to the people, not godfathers.
The SPD flag bearer who is still not happy with the Supreme court’s verdict on the controversial Kogi State Governorship election said the outpour of votes in favour of Obaseki only proves that sheer determination by the people can make goals prevail.
She explained that Godfatherism breeds criminal politics, usurps the rights and choices of the people; and worsens the sociopolitical development of Nigeria.
“Eradicating this vice will do Nigeria’s democracy a whole lot of good.”
She commended the people of Edo state for their resilience in the face of intimidation as they came out en mass to exercise their franchise without fear or favour.
According to her, Obaseki did well in his first tenure, the people connected well with him and ensured they voted for him because they are tired of Godfatherism.
She said the United States Government visa ban on riggers of Kogi /Bayelsa election did the magic as it also served as a reference point by keeping many of the would-be riggers at bay.
She said the United Kingdom also helped when they threatened to seize assets of such politicians who are quick to rigging to ensure they win at all costs.
Akpoti pointed out that in times of health challenges some of these politicians may seek better healthcare abroad especially with the Nigerian history of poor healthcare delivery system many of them were scared hence could not be found wanting.
She also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for deploying technology by uploading the results of polling units, ward levels as they were being declared which she said gave no room for those who would have altered the results at the polling units and ward level during collation.
She challenged stakeholders to learn lessons from the outcome of Edo election and push for a total overhaul of the electoral system to set the ball rolling for better elections in Nigeria.
“I applaud INEC for that, they were able to use technology updating and uploading as the results were coming in so that did not give room for manipulation of results.
“The basic is that he is a performing Governor and he has done quite well and his people connected with him within his first term and they all look forward to better performance considering the fact that he is going to have enough time to continue with completing his projects.
“I am proud that his people came out en mass without fear and voted for him. That is what democracy is all about when the people are given the chance to choose their rightful leaders as against imposition from Godfathers.
“I hope that every Nigerian will learn from this election outcome and apply this lesson to the Ondo election and the 2023 presidential and Governorship election. We should avoid Godfatherism at all costs because it breeds corrupt politics”