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Buhari receives Obaseki, says national interest supreme over politics

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Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday received Edo State governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy Phillip Shuaibu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Obaseki’s visit to Buhari came days after the governor was re-elected to office in the Edo State governorship election where he defeated Buhari’s party-man Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Obaseki, a candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes to defeat APC’s Ize-Iyamu, who secured 223,619 votes.

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Speaking at the meeting, Buhari said the interest of the people of Edo State was supreme over the interest of his party.

“I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after beating my party,” Buhari said. “I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not, but my single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer.

“My single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer. That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police, that elections must be free and fair.”

Although the election was widely adjudged to be fair by journalists and observers but was not devoid of vote-buying by political parties.

Buhari, however, said his intent was to ensure that peace and order are maintained in the state during and after the election.

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“I know we are a developing country, a developing economy and trying to develop our political culture,” Buhari said. “I want the development of political culture to be based on integrity and accountability.”

Responding, Obaseki praised the president for his stance on the election despite belonging to the country’s ruling party.

“The whole world has acclaimed that Edo election was perhaps one of the best conducted in recent times in Nigeria,” Obaseki said. “This could not have been possible without your insistence that the right things be done, and for that, we want to say thank you very much.”

Obaseki played down rumours that he may return to the APC, a party he left after being disqualified from seeking re-election by the APC national working committee.

The Edo State governor said his rumoured return to the APC is ‘against Buhari’s gospel of integrity’ he believes in.


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