Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said that democracy as expressed in the unfettered will of the people to choose their leader is the greatest winner in weekend governorship election in Edo State that saw the re-election of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The former Vice President made the assertion yesterday in Abuja while congratulating Governor Oshiomhole on his re-election.
Atiku in a statement by his media office in Abuja yesterday said the decision of the people of Edo State to re-elect governor Oshiomhole is a clear confirmation that the people are satisfied with the performance of their governor in his first term in office.
Atiku said that it is becoming increasingly clear that Nigerians are ready to take full advantage of democracy as a system of representative government following the way in which the election was monitored by Nigerians via the social media platforms.
He commended the people of Edo State for the discipline and tolerance they had exhibited in expressing their choice in the election.
“The way and manner the people of Edo State conducted themselves at the polling booths in weekend’s governorship election has further bolstered my confidence that democracy has indeed come to stay in Nigeria,” Atiku said.
While also commending the candidate of his own ruling PDP, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) for making himself available as a formidable democratic alternative in the Edo election, the former Vice President noted that the loss in Edo State should be taken in good faith as it was never a do-or-die affair, in the first place.
He said that the Edo loss is not a referendum on the PDP, as some may want to posit, but offers unique opportunity for the ruling party to reflect on the way forward.
He said it is imperative more than ever before, for the PDP to retool the ruling party as the only viable platform for achieving the socio-political and economic aspirations of all Nigerians.
The former Vice President urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not rest on its oars but to use upcoming elections to perfect its processes ahead of the 2015 general election.