There were herculean efforts from the Edo Diaspora from both sides in Edo2020. One effort stood out that will change the face of Nigerian elections for years to come.
Sept 7th, 12 days to Edo2020, Princess Edith Iyamu, the granddaughter of Oba Akenzua II, worried that the worldwide efforts of Edos towards Godwin Obaseki’s re-election could be thwarted by higher and external influences. So, she decided to approach Number 10 Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s Office, for help. She was armed with a petition signed by thousands of Edos across the diaspora who had expressed the same fears. Prime Minister, they asked, how can you help us to ensure there will be a free and fair election in Edo2020? What can be done to void the threat of external security agencies who can submerge the will of the Edo people?
Princess Edith, who was born in and is currently resident in London, says she is not a politician and has never been interested in politics. But she remembers her late mum Princess Felicia Ikporoye Akenzua who passed on November 2013, in Edo State. Her mum was waiting for over 20 years for her state pension to be paid. She thumbprinted, scanned, queued and signed so many forms, so many times, but the pension was never paid. Seeing GO paying pensions to old Edo retired women like her mum is what made the Princess take him personal. This is the reason she joined the Concerned Edo Indigenes UK to fight for GO’s re-election.
Submitting the petition was hard because of Covid 19 restrictions. The UK’s Prime minister office, was not accepting any petitions but on seeing the passion of the Princess, gave her a website to find details to send the petition. She went to the Nigerian embassy and met the same fate, she was told an appointment was needed to see the consulate.
By September 10th Princess Edith with her Members of Edo indegenes UK had submitted both petitions to Downing Street and Nigerian embassy in London. They have read out a strong declaration in front of the Nigerian embassy UK, adhering with strict instructions from the police to keep the crowd below 30 persons. This declaration video went viral instantly.
Behold the next day President Buhari released a statement re-affirming he will do all he can to ensure a free election in Edo2020. The same week on 15 Sept, the USA imposed a visa ban on Nigerian officials involved in election malpractice. Not enough, the UK govt issued a statement a day later, they would impose a Visa ban and seize overseas assets for electoral offences in Nigeria beginning with the Edo2020 elections.
The rest is history. The Edo State election was free and fair, and the peoples’ will triumphed. As Governor Wike put it, he believes the singular action of the international community was the deepest fear of the Nigerian high and mighty. Who do we have to thank?
Princess Edith described the actions of Concerned Edo Indigenes UK as the final straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to powerful Nigerians and the international community. I did not think they would act so fast and so hard, but they must be tired of hearing Nigerians crying for help to no avail and decided to start doing something to help us.
We are proud of our efforts and hopefully Edo State and Nigeria will start seeing the dividends of true democracy when the voice of the people is heard.
Here is a list of Concerned Indigenes UK who completed, logged petition and read the declaration.
Mr. Austin Ikponmwosa
Deacon Henry Olovba
Mr. Osasu Ighodaro
Mr. Ehi Osaghae
Engineer Andrew Ebomoyi
Dr. Elvis Omoregie
Thanks to the UK and USA governments and special thanks to our Royal father Omo n oba n edo uku apoklor Ewuare II for ensuring peace reigns in our land.