Edo Governorship Election: Another Observer Group Picks Holes In Process

Voters get accredited before voting
Voters get accredited before voting

An Election Observer Group, Election Monitor, is asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pay attention to calls for the cancellation of the just concluded governorship election in Edo State.

The call is on grounds that widespread public outcry signifies dissatisfaction that should not be ignored.

Presenting the group’s election observation report to a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the National coordinator, Abiodun Ajijola, said the election had a high case level of vote buying and over-voting across the polling stations especially in Esako Local Government Area.

He says such acts give credence to such expressions of dissatisfaction.

Mr Ajijola also noted that while the election could be said to have been conducted effectively with regards to operation and conduct, the group observed unacceptable delay in collation of results which the electoral commission ought to address.

It is the second observer group  that is dismissing claims by the electoral body that the election was free and fair.

Another group, the Alliance for Credible Elections, (ACE), a civil society organisation, had expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the September 28 governorship election.

The group claimed that the election was far from being free, fair and credible.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Mma Odi, said that there was generally no secrecy in voting, as people voted in the full glare of party agents despite the presence of security agents.

But INEC says the governorship election was free and fair, dismissing allegations of bias and compromise by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP had alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the INEC had planned to rig the September 28 election at the collation centre in Benin City.

But an official of the electoral body said the election was conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Electoral Act.

INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Solomon Soyebi, told Channels Television’s correspondent in Kaduna on Wednesday that the election was not fraught with irregularities, as being alleged by the PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Osagie-Ize-Iyamu
Candidate of the peoples Democratic Party, Osagie Ize-Iyamu

He also debunked claims by the PDP that the commission deliberately delayed result of the election from the 18 Local Government Councils in Edo state in order to favour the ruling APC in the state.

“Checkmated Any Form Of Rigging”

He further explained that INEC deployed an electronic device during the election that tracked the collation of results from the polling units up to the last collation centre.

“These devices checkmated any form of rigging,” he stated.

Mr Soyebi further highlighted that with the peaceful conduct of the Edo election, the commission was determined to improve on the success during the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

INEC has come under criticism by some aggrieved persons since last week Thursday when it announced the results of the election that produced the APC candidate, Godwin Obaseki as governor-elect in Edo State.

Another opposition party in the election APGA had before the announcement of the result called for total cancellation of the election, citing irregularities.

Osaro-Onaiwu-APGA-Governorship-Candidate-in-Edo-elction

Mr Osaro Onaiwu alleged that financial inducement and intimidation of party loyalists occurred during the poll.

“The election is going to be inconclusive because there is a lot of damage already. There was no election in Ologbo and Oluku and whatever result they are bringing out from these two places, it is not going to be accepted by us,” Mr Onaiwu said.

He is the first candidate in the election that has called for the cancellation of the election that had 19 contestants.

The election is said to have been peaceful, but with cases of ballot snatching reported.

Earlier, a member of the party monitoring the process at a polling unit, Stephen Edema, told Channels Television that the process had been smooth.

The Independent Electoral Commission had said the election was smooth and had progressed as expected.

Civil Society Group Faults Credibility Of Edo Governorship Elections

Edo-Elections-ACEThe Alliance for Credible Elections, (ACE), a civil society organisation, has expressed its dissatisfaction with the conduct of the September 28 governorship election which took place in Edo state.

The group claimed that the election was far from being free, fair and credible.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the acting General Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Mma Odi, said that there was generally no secrecy in voting, as people voted in the full glare of party agents despite the presence of security agents.

Mrs Odi, while presenting the report of the observation of the election by the Alliance for Democracy, added that there was a form of subtle intimidation of voters aided by open sale of votes for cash.


The group also criticised the delay in the collation of votes which commenced late in the evening despite elections being concluded by 2:00 p.m. local time in most of the polling units across the state.

Smooth Elections

The concerns pointed out by the General Secretary of the group, however, contradict initial comments by several observers who stated that the polls went on smoothly.

INEC National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari, had said that the electoral process went on as expected while INEC officials and security agents worked professionally to ensure it was hitch free.

Furthermore, a poll on the performance of INEC in the election initiated by Channels Television on Twitter had over 5,000 Twitter users participating.

Thirty per cent of the people rated INEC’S performance in the election as excellent while another 30 per cent said it was fair.

Twenty-six per cent rated it poor and another 14% were indifferent.

The election finally came to a close with INEC announcing Godwin Obaseki as the governor-elect of Edo state to take over from Governor Adams Oshiomhole who has ruled the state for nearly eight-year.

After the result was announced, however, aggrieved members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) alleged inducement of voters and collaboration of INEC and the state government to doctor the results in favour of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP has said it would go to Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the election, but the APC denied inducing voters and said the PDP was a bad loser.

World Bank Approves $150m For Nigerian Universities

World-Bank10 Nigerian universities are to get 70 million dollar financial support, from the International Development Association funding.

This is part of money approved by the board of directors of the World Bank to build and nurture specialized world-class higher education institutions on the continent.

According to the bank, the centres, which were competitively selected, would receive funding for advanced specialised studies in science and technology, engineering, mathematics-related disciplines as well as agriculture and health.

The beneficiaries are the Federal University of Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano, Benue State University, and Redeemers University, Mowe.

Others include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Jos; University of Benin; African University of Science And Technology, Abuja; University of Port Harcourt and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

World Bank Vice-President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, said: “I am excited to support these pioneering centres of excellence because they will be another step in building and nurturing specialized world-class higher education institutions on the continent.

“I can think of no better way to grow African economies, create jobs, and support research in Africa, than educating young graduates with expertise in high-demand areas such as chemical engineering, crop science, and the control of infectious diseases.”

This Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) project, which will equip young Africans with new scientific and technical skills, will be financed through IDA credits to the governments of Nigeria (US$70 million), Ghana (US$24 million), Senegal (US$16 million), Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Togo (US$8 million each).

The Gambia will also receive a US $2 million credit and a US$1 million grant to provide higher education, including short-term training, to students, faculty and civil servants through the 19 ACEs.