Thursday, July 19, 2012

GENERAL BABANGIDA: Oshiomhole's Re-election Has Re-ignited One Man, One Vote Doctrine In Nigeria

Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has said Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Edo State where Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was re-elected as governor of the state, has re-enacted the doctrine of one man, one vote being canvassed by most Nigerians.
In a statement entitled “The Power of the People,” Babangida said the election had further reassured the polity that under a well coordinated electoral engagement, the people’s power as expressed through votes, would usually prevail over any other manifestations.
The former Military President congratulated the voters of Edo State for doing justice to their consciences and diligence to their decision by re-electing Oshiomhole to continue to stir the ship in the nation’s heartbeat state.
According to the statement, “as a keen observer of the politics of the nation, with particular interest in Edo State, I watched all the televised campaigns of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, where the Comrade Governor presented to the people of the state his scorecard in the last three and a half years. I was particularly enthralled by his show of energy and rhythmic dance steps which helped to add colour and relief to the entire campaign exercise.
“The way and manner he read out scores of his achievements as a governor for such a short period of time, presented him as one who understands the demand of leadership and the challenges of governance in the state. Comrade Oshiomhole has indeed impressed me in several ways. He thinks for the future of Edo State and his economic vision captured in his campaign manifesto will help the state to regain its lost glory.
“Let me, therefore, use this opportunity to join millions of other Nigerians to say very big congratulations to the Comrade Governor of Edo State, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, for this unique achievement in a state and against a party that parades hitherto political heavy weight.
“This ennobling and humbling feat is only possible in an atmosphere of well mobilised and conscientised voters, who might have resolved to sustain the mantra of one man, one vote as the fundamental basis of representative democracy.
“This feat deserves double celebration; first on account of the fact that the people did show vigilance throughout the exercise, and secondly on account of the civil nature of the military personnel that were drafted to the state to offer security support to the exercise.
The lesson
“The lesson to take away from the entire Edo election is that Nigeria can truly get it right, if we all are resolved that we will not rig elections and if election outcomes are made to reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people. Edo State has become a trail blazer in this unique dimension of making votes to count after elections. I congratulate you all.”
Advises Oshiomhole
“Now, the expectation of the people from the governor will surely multiply because the entire state spoke unanimously that the Comrade Governor is their Governor. The Comrade Governor must redouble his efforts to ensure that those expectations are met and those mouth-watering campaign promises are fulfilled.
During my last visit to Edo State at the burial ceremony of my late friend and brother, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, I saw quite a number of ongoing projects which are a mark of government intervention in the state. I have also watched a few documentaries about the new thinking in Edo State. All these are cheering news and it is expected that the Comrade Governor will use the opportunity of his second term of office to open up the state and leverage on the economic infrastructure to make life more meaningful for the people. On this count, I do not envy the Comrade Governor at all.”

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