Friday 30 September 2016

6 reasons why Godwin Obaseki won the Edo election

Mr Godwin Obaski of the All Progressives Congress
(APC) has been declared the governor-elect of Edo state
after a keenly contested election.
These are happy times for Mr Obaseki and his household
Obaseki, a known face in the administration of out-going
governor, Adams Oshiomole was until his victory, the

chairman of the state’s Economic and Strategy Team.
He defeated his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu by
polling 319, 483 against the latter’s 253,173 votes.

While Obaski’s victory has sparked protest from PDP
supporters in the state capital, Benin, it has also signaled
the beginning of the victory dance for APC supporters
across the state.

Tonygists lists 6 major reasons why Obaseki won the

1. His knowledge of the economy: Obaseki attended the
Columbia University and Pace University in New York and
has an MBA in finance and international business. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers,
Nigeria and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School
Chief Executive Program. His long service as the head of
Edo state Economic and Strategy Team gave him an
opportunity to showcase his innate skills and talent as a
sound economic manager. This gave him an edge in the
election over Pastor Ize-Iyamu who is generally seen as a career politician.

2. His deep Benin roots: He is a member of the famous
and illustrious Obaseki family. His deep Benin roots no
doubt gave him an edge in the election. Although he
contested with an equally illustrious son of the soil – Ize-
Iyamu, his close to government must have been a deciding
factor in giving him the needed victory to steer the Edo
state hip for the next four years.

3. Incumbency factor: In Nigeria, it is a known fact that
the government of the day has an unrivaled advantage
before and during the electioneering period. All the
paraphernalia of the state machinery is brought to bear
and used to intimidate the opposition. Unfortunately,
electoral and security agencies who are supposed to be
apolitical most times dance to the tune of the government in power in exchange for financial and material
inducements. It should be noted that the Edo state
chapter of the PDP severally raised an alarm over the
intimidation they were subjected to before and during the election.

4. The Oshiomole factor: Comrade Adams Oshiomole’s
background as a labour leader cannot be wished away by
his political foes. A gifted orator, mass mobilizer of men
and an emerging political force in the South-south region,
Oshiomole was practically at the forefront of the political
battle to install Obasseki as his successor. From campaign
grounds to public forums, Oshiomole made his voice
heard as he consistently urged the citizens of Edo state to
cast their votes for his lackey.

5. The presidency factor: Although President
Muhammadu Buhari have been somewhat apolitical since
he came on board, the Edo election showed that the
president is still have a keen interest in what transpires.
President Buhari was personally present at the grand
finale of Obaseki’s campaign trail, urging the people of the
state to cast their votes for the APC candidate. The
president’s presence was testament to the fact that he is
not just a passive observer of the polls, but a key
stakeholder in the election. This might have swayed some
votes to the APC and also help in rallying the northern
votes in the state.

6. Massive publicity: The election was a show of force in
terms of public relations and publicity. Both parties
committed funds in their desperation to win the voters on
their side, but Obaseki’s campaign team did a near-
perfect job. His team particularly focused on social media
campaigns, reaching youths who are most times
indifferent to the outcome of elections.

 There were also
consistent campaigns on relatively new social mediums
like Instagram, Snap Chat and the likes.
The collation of the results on September 29 was marred
by the intervention of armed security operatives. Protesters and reporters, including Tonygists photojournalist, were teargassed.
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