With votes counted from 18 local governments in Edo State, Mr. Oshiomhole, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), had garnered 477, 478 votes. His main rival, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (ret.) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), scored 144,255 votes.
“It’s clear that the incumbent governor is going to win by a landslide,” said the INEC source, adding, “INEC is in the process of preparing a formal statement to declare him the winner.”
Some analysts regarded the July 14 election as a final proof of the political irrelevance of Tony Anenih, former chair of the PDP’s board of trustees who paraded himself as a kingmaker in the state. Mr. Oshiomhole trounced his PDP rival, handpicked by Mr. Anenih, in both the candidate’s ward as well as that of Mr. Anenih.
President Goodluck Jonathan had campaigned in Benin City for the losing PDP candidate. The president had also ordered the deployment of thousands of soldiers to major towns in Edo State. According to some people, this was done to intimidate voters and shore up the PDP candidate while others thinks it was for security purpose, to scare off ballot box snatchers. However, the people of the state trooped out in large number to ensure that Mr. Oshiomhole’s victory could not be stolen.
Reached moments ago, an aide to Governor Oshiomhole said the governor was grateful for the vigilance of the people to ensure that the voters triumphed over the PDP’s gimmicks. He added that the governor saw his victory as an indication that the people of Edo “have decisively rejected those who lie and kill for the sake of power.”
Olaitan Oyerinde, the governor’s private secretary and one of his closest aides, was murdered by assassins suspected to have been hired by PDP henchmen in the state.
Governor Oshiomhole was declared winner by INEC’s returning officer Prof. Osayuki Oshodi at exactly 7:40 Am Nigerian time