* Come and vote, follow the boxes to collation centre, do not depart till Obaseki is declared
Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who boasts of how he stopped election hijack in Rivers State in 2019 tutored the Edo electorate on how to repeat the Rivers model against hijacking and rigging especially by use of security forces.
He showed them how to defy all odds to come out, how to resist security forces, how to be ready to die, how to follow the ballot boxes, etc.
In the Rivers elections, women played prominent roles because they easily attract international sympathy. Edo people were tutored on how to maximize that.
Rivers women mounted guard round the fences of collation centres and when securiy agents jumped into the grounds, the women wrapped around them and vidoed the scene and sent them out. It caused scandals, forcing the presidency to call the armed forces back.
Rounding up campaigns in Benin, Edo State for the Saturday, September 19, 2020 guber contest that narrowed down to Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ozagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the governor gave the steps as coming out en-masse to vote, casting the vote, following the ballot boxes to collation centre, staying put until Obaseki is declared winner.
Gov Wike who is the PDP national campaign chairman insisted that Obaseki would win but told the crowd at the grand finale of the Edo PDP campaign held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium said the convincing evidence on ground had shown the general acceptance of the party by the electorate.
He stated that with the achievements of the last four years, it would be impossible for Gov Obaseki not to be declared the winner. He however urged Edo people not to take things for granted but turn out in large numbers to vote the candidate of PDP.
“By the grace of God, the election has been won by Gov Obaseki. That does not mean that you’ll go and sleep. Everybody that wants to fight godfatherism should come out to vote. Use Edo election to end godfatherism. Make sure you vote and be vigilant too.
“I agree with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the election will be free and fair. Even the Inspector General of Police has promised that nobody will rig the election. But do not leave the polling units after casting your votes.
“Repeat the Rivers State Model. Let every woman wear jean on election day, cast and defend your votes.
“Follow the votes to the Collation Centres . Do not go until INEC has announced Godwin Obaseki as the winner,” he said.
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus described the Edo election as a special one.
He said the election would determine the status of elective democracy in Nigeria that is devoid of rigging.
“Let there be more restrictions for election riggers. Just like United States has done, I call on other democratic countries of the world to rise to protect Nigeria’s democracy.
“We all know that Obaseki is a performing governor. He has impacted the lives of Edo people. Let their will prevail. Edo people should resist all forms of godfatherism,” he stated.
In his speech, the chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, urged Edo people not to sell their votes. “I hear somebody said he will come to Edo with bullion vans. Stand firm and do not sell your votes.
“I appeal to INEC to conduct free and fair election. There should not be intimidation of the electorate. Stay at your polling units. Ensure your votes are counted. Vote for continuity,” he stated.
On his part, the Chairman of South- South Governors’ Forum and Governor of Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said nobody can cheat PDP of its votes because it is a majority party in Edo State.
Former Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Peter Obi, also spoke and urged Edo electorate not to vote the APC candidate for the sake of Nigeria.
According to him, “We want Nigeria to be good and people like Obaseki are trusted.”