INEC To Go Ahead With Edo Governorship Election

pdp-on-dss-inecc-bossThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it will go ahead with the Edo State governorship elections against the advise of Nigerian security agencies.

The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.

The two security agencies said the advise was based on credible intelligence at its disposal, which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September.

The agencies said Edo State is amongst the states being earmarked for these planned attacks.

In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.

The statement further adds that “the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.

 

APC Alleges Plot By PDP To Unleash Mayhem, Rig Edo Election

PDP, APC on Edo Election The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has raised alarm over what it called an alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to unleash violence and cause confusion in the state during the governorship election.

The party, which is holding power in the state, claims that the plan would pave way for the opposition to rig the governorship election scheduled for September 10.

Militants From Delta

A statement by the party said “no less than 500 militants from Delta are being mobilised to critical areas of Edo State to carry out this evil plan using the waterways.

“The primary targets are Edo-North using the River Niger to access areas around Agenebode; Edo-South, via the Osse River; and Edo Central, via Ilushi River”.

Citing internal sources within the PDP, the APC also alleged that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to participate in the conduct of the elections were being compromised by the PDP with the lure of huge financial rewards should they agree to act out their script to rig the elections.

“In their desperation to seize power at all cost, they have not only perfected plans to usurp the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) across the state but have already started acting it out as we have received reports that some PVCs meant for certain Local Government Areas have been hijacked by PDP thugs.

“We want to use this medium to call on the security agencies in the state, particularly the Nigerian Police Force, to investigate the matter expeditiously and immediately put in place measures to forestall their wicked plans, and maintain peace and order throughout this electioneering period.

“We also call on INEC to carry out due diligence on all its ad-hoc staff and monitor them closely so that those who have been compromised will not be allowed to carry out the PDP’s devious plans,” the statement read.

In his reaction to the alleged plot, the APC flagbearer, Godwin Obaseki, said: “We, in the APC, are not totally surprised by this distasteful development as the PDP is reputed for crude ‘do-or-die’ politics.

“We, however, want to state categorically that we will not be intimidated by their antics, and we will continue to push, through every legitimate means, our message of hope and prosperity.

“We are also confident that the good people of Edo State, having experienced unprecedented development and transformation of the state under the leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomole of the APC, will vehemently resist any attempt by the PDP to halt the remarkable progress we have made, and lead us back to the dark days when our people watched helplessly as a few thieving politicians pillaged our commonwealth and nearly destroyed our state”.

Postponement Advice

Amidst uncertainty on the September 10 exercise due to recommendations for postponement by security operatives, Obaseki urged his supporters to be vigilant, and continue to conduct themselves peacefully as law-abiding citizens of Edo State.

Meanwhile the PDP has described the call for postponement of the election as shocking and a bizarre.

The party responded to the advice by security agencies in a statement by its spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, on Wednesday.

After the advice was issued, the INEC said it had not received any official document advising it to shift the election and insisted that it would go ahead with the election as scheduled.

PDP Says Security Agencies’ Advice To Shift Edo Election Is A ‘Bizarre’

Edo Election to choose a governor, PDP comments The opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Nigeria says the security agencies’ advice for the postponement of the Edo State governorship election scheduled to hold on September 10 is shocking and a ‘bizarre’.

Security agencies in Nigeria had advised the electoral body to shift the election, giving insurgency alert.

But the PDP, which claims to be the strongest opposition in the state, said it was taken aback on this advice, coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari attended a Mega Rally of the All Progressives Congress in Benin City which was concluded without any hitch.

Indices Of Losing

A statement by the party’s spokesman, Day Adeyeye, highlighted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently conducted a ‘hitch free’ Senatorial By-Election in Borno State which is a high-point of insurgency in the Country and wondered why the Security Agencies saw no reason to call-off the Election.

They have been no report of any bomb attack in Edo State in the last six years that insurgency was at its peak in Nigeria’s northeast, something critics said  apparently made the advice appear shocking to the party.

“It is therefore lamentable to hear from these same security agencies that the Election cannot be held in a State where in less than 24 hours, the President and all the APC leaders and members had an uninterrupted Rally.

“We are calling on the President, Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies and direct them to provide full security, and also to desist doing anything that will jeopardize this forthcoming Gubernatorial Election in Edo State.

“We are equally counting on INEC not to succumb to this false alarm by acting independently and holding election as scheduled.

“We hope that this advice from the security agencies are not in concert with the APC of having seen the indices of losing the Edo State Gubernatorial Election to the PDP,” the statement read.

The PDP further urged its members, supporters, voters in Edo State and the international community to remain law-abiding while staying alert on what it called a “calculated attempt at scuttling our hard earned democracy”.

Meanwhile, the electoral body has said it will go ahead to hold the governorship election on the scheduled date, saying it has not received any advice to shift election.

APGA Claims APC Plans To Rig Edo Governorship Election

APGA-2The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Edo State, south-south Nigeria, is alleging that there are indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) plans to rig the September 10 governorship election.

Addressing reporters on Saturday the governorship candidate of APGA in the state, Osaro Onaiwu, said he would reject any result from Edo North Senatorial District, claiming it would be compromised.

His allegation follows attack on some members of APGA by suspected political thugs on Friday after addressing a campaign rally in the ward of the APC Deputy governorship candidate, Philip Shuaibu, in Etsako West Local Government Area.

Onaiwu, who frowned at the development where security official on his convoy was seized and assaulted by the thugs, commended the military personnel at Igarra Road for their timely intervention to save the situation.

The APGA governorship candidate further urged all political parties in the election to call their supporters to order and play by the rules of the game.

He further stressed that politics was not a do or die affair.

INEC Announces Governorship Election Dates For Ondo And Edo

AdamawaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has scheduled dates for governorship elections in Ondo and Edo State.

The electoral umpire fixed Saturday, September 10, 2016 for Edo and Saturday, November 26, 2016 for Ondo State.

The Commission also released the time table and Schedule of Activities for both governorship elections in concert with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to the timetable and Schedule of Activities for Edo state governorship election, Sunday, 12th, June, 2016, has been earmarked for commencement of campaigns by political parties, while the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, will take place between Thursday, 2nd June to Monday 4th July, 2016.

The Commission will publish the official Register of Voters for the Edo governorship election on Thursday, 11th August, 2016. On the same day, it will publish the list of nominated candidates by political parties.

The timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Edo governorship election also indicates that Thursday, 8th September 2016 will be the last day for Campaigns.

Sunday, the 28th of August 2016, has been scheduled for Commencement of Campaigns by Political Parties in the Ondo governorship election.

The Conduct of Party Primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, will take place between Thursday, 18th August to Monday 19th September, 2016.

Publication of the Official Register of Voters for the election will be done on Tuesday, 27th of October 2016, while publication of list of nominated candidates will be done on the same day.

Thursday, the 24th of November 2016 has been fixed by the Commission as the last day of Campaigns by all Political Parties.

According to the two timetables and Schedule of Activities, “run-off election to the office of the Governor (if any) will be held within 7 days after the announcement of the result of the election in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)”.

Edo Election: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Against Oshiomole

The Edo State Election Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Charles Arhiavbere, challenging the results of the 2012 governorship election in the state.

The judge said that the petitioner failed woefully to prove his allegation and thereafter dismissed the petition on that basis.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared the candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria and incumbent Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as winner of the election.

The Judge further said there was no infraction proved to prevent the return of Oshiomhole in anyway and that if there was a petition completely starved of evidence, this is completely one.

The petition is bereft and devoid of any substance, said the Judge.

Gen. Charles Arhiavbere had filed a petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal challenging the victory of Governor Adams Oshiomole in the July 14 Edo Governorship election.

The petition stated that the ‘purported election’ was invalid due to corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Other grounds for the petition included alleged intimidation and harassment of voters, depriving them from exercising their franchise and constitutional rights in 11 local government areas of the state.

 

PDP refrains from challenging Oshiomhole’s victory

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has resolved not to challenge the results of the July 14 governorship elections which returned Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the elected governor of Edo State.

Mr. Oshiomhole of the Action Congress on Nigeria (ACN) won a landslide victory in the election winning in all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.

The PDP in a statement signed by the state chairman, Chief Dan Osih Orbih, indirectly admitted defeat but alleged that the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria manipulated the result.

“While every genuine member of the party worked hard to win the election they can deduce that the ACN resorted to intimidation and manipulated the process to their fullest advantage” the statement alleged.

Though discounting the result of the election as “ridiculous and completely at variance with rational reasoning and human expectations”, the PDP declared that following wide consultations with the party leadership within and outside the state, “it has resolved not to file any petition at the Election Petition Tribunal in the interest of the state.”

According to the statement, the party vowed to continue and remain steadfast and won’t be discouraged by setbacks as this election defeat may just be a stepping stone to a future victory.

Also referring to the murder of the Governor Oshiomhole’s private secretary, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde and the convoy crash that killed three journalists prior to the elections; the party requested a reply from the governor who accused PDP’s leaders of being behind the incidents.

Citing the prompt renaming of Delta Crescent where its national leader resides after the late Olaitan Oyerinde, the party stated that “it has strived to maintain peace in the state despite severe provocation.”

Right direction

Reacting to the PDP’s decision not to challenge his re-election, the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, described the move as a step in the right direction and called on the opposition party to join his government.

“I wish to extend my hand of fellowship to all men of goodwill to join hands with government to move the state to the next level, because, despite all the successes recorded in the last three and half years, Edo state is still work-in-progress” the Governor said.

“I look forward to more collaboration between my government, other political parties and interests in the state” he added.

In a very surprising move, the governor also extended his hands of friendship to the PDP national leader in the state, who he has always over the years lampooned. “I want to restate my full respect for the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih, whom I hold and will continue to hold in high respects.”

The olive branch was also extended to the PDP’s candidate who he defeated at the polls.

“I also wish to assure the PDP Candidate, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (Rtd) whom I regard as a friend, that now that we have put the elections behind us, my doors are open so that together, we may lift our state to the high level where it should be.

On questions asked about the allegations over the murder of his private secretary, the governor declined to respond saying, “I however wish to state that other issues raised by the PDP will be commented on, on another occasion.”