Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says the All Progressives Congress was given the false confidence that its candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, would win last Saturday’s election in the state.
El-Rufai said up till about three weeks ago, he was sure that the APC would win the Edo State governorship election as the opinion polls conducted had shown that Ize-Iyamu would defeat any other candidate during the election.
He, however, added that he didn’t know what went wrong in the last three weeks of the campaign.
Independent National Electoral Commission had on Sunday declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Godwin Obaseki, the winner of the keenly contested election.
According to INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, the PDP candidate polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu, who got 223,619 votes.
But while commenting on the Edo governorship election, El-Rufai, who spoke on a Channels Television programme, decsribed the election as “reasonably decent.”
According to him, “We (APC) would have loved to win and quite frankly, I was optimistic up to three weeks ago; the polls indicated that we were going to win. I don’t know what happened in the last three weeks of the campaign.
“As you know, a large number of voters make up their minds in the last two weeks of the election. Many voters decide no matter what happens, this is how I am voting but most people want to wait and make up their minds in the last two weeks.
“Three weeks ago, the polls clearly showed that APC was going to win but the result came out differently from what we expected.
“Obaseki has won, that’s it. You can’t go into an election without the possibility of losing.
“The election was reasonably decent. We were all worried about violence but there was very little violence or none at all.”
The Kaduna governor also stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was committed to free and fair elections.
President Buhari had congratulated the Edo governor on his re-election shortly after INEC announced him as the winner of the poll.
Obaseki, who was elected on the APC’s platform in 2016, defected to the PDP after he was denied the ticket for a second term owing to intra-party squabbles.