Edo Residents Hopeful Of Violence-Free Governorship Election

Residents of Edo State are hopeful of a violence-free election come Saturday, September 19, 2020. Photos Sodiq Adelakun

 

The residents of Edo State are hopeful of a violence-free election as they go to the poll to elect a governor for another four-year term.

Following the chains of violence recorded in parts of the state during the electioneering campaign period, the electorates insist that the exercise scheduled for September 19 would be peaceful.

Channels Television crew interviewed some of the residents during a tour of Benin City, the state capital on Friday – the eve of the Election Day.

They said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as well as the security agencies have assured them of adequate security and a peaceful exercise.

“Everywhere is secured; people are only giving the impression that the election will not take place, but the government has made all preparations intact.

“So, I don’t know why people will not come out to vote,” a resident, Rufus Arubiye, told Channels Television.

Another resident, Mrs Victoria Momojumo, believes adequate preparations have been put in place by the relevant authorities.

“Tomorrow, I am going to vote and I will vote for the right person I want,” said Victoria whose opinion was supported by Stanley Nduka who believes there will be calm and the election will be peaceful.

“I believe everything will be fine; I am going to vote but I won’t sell my conscience. We want a leader, not a ruler,” another resident, Juliet Osas, stated.

Although the atmosphere in Edo is relatively peaceful, residents flooded the streets in some parts of the state in what can be described as last-minute shopping before they go to the poll.

During a visit to some of the major markets in Benin City, many residents were seen stocking foodstuff while others bought non-food items.

 

 

Shops and food markets were fully opened for commercial activities as early as 8:30 am at the Second Circular Road and Upper Mission Road areas of the state capital.

 

 

While some anticipated the election day as they were unable to contain their excitement, signs of fear and worry were evident on the faces of others.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed September 19 to conduct the election in all the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state.

At a press briefing in Abuja on February 6, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, noted that the tenure of the present administration in Edo would end on November 12, 2020.

According to him, the Electoral Act provides that the election cannot be conducted earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the tenure of an incumbent governor.

Five months later, the electoral umpire cleared the 12 candidates from various political parties to vie for the office of the governor.

Edo PDP Vows To Reclaim Mandate

Edo PDP Vows To Reclaim Mandate, Godwin Obaseki, Edo Inauguration
PDP Candidate, Osagie-Ize-Iyamu

While the swearing-in of Godwin Obaseki as Edo State Governor, was ongoing at the Semuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Saturday, some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were also inaugurating what they described as a mandate recovery group.

Leader of the group, Dan Ogbegie, said the move was to press home their determination to recover their allegedly stolen mandate through every legitimate means.

Prior to this meeting, the PDP candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and leaders of the party have submitted a petition to the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal.

They are challenging the result of the polls in which the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Godwin Obaseki was declared winner by the electoral commission.

Mr Ize-Iyamu said they decided to challenge the result of the election in keeping with the promise they made to their supporters that they would defend the votes cast for them.

Mr Ize-Iyamu and the Chairman of the Party in the State, Mr Dan Orbih, said they were confident that they would be declared winner at the conclusion of the case.

On the day of the election, the PDP claimed there was a plan by the electoral body and incumbent Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to rig the election at the collation centre.

The opposition party said that the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin ward results announcement at the collation centre was a sign of the plan.

Edo PDP, APC Trade Words Over Hiring Of Militants For Election

PDP, APC, Edo, Election, on militantsThe Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Dan Orbih has denied claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) of arrests of suspected militants brought into the state to work for the PDP during the governorship election.

Reports say the ruling party had claimed that the militants were arrested by men of the Edo Police Command.

Mr Orbih made the denial of the claims during a press conference on Wednesday held at the party secretariat in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Edo State, Mr Olafimihan Adeoye, said the suspects in question were arrested for crimes not in any way connected with politics.

The election originally scheduled to hold on September 10 was shifted to September 28 by the electoral body after security agencies advised it to shift the election date, giving security reasons.

Before the election was shifted, the APC published a statement where it claimed that the PDP had planned 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.

A ‘Bizarre’

After the security agencies issued security alerts and advised the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state to shift the election, the PDP described the advice as shocking and a ‘bizarre’.

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.

PDP Holds Ad-hoc Delegate Election In Edo

Anambra PDPThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has conducted its ward ad-hoc delegate election across the 18 local government areas of Edo State.

Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswan, led a delegation from the national body of the party to monitor the conduct of the election in some wards in Benin City, the capital of the State.

He stated that the process was part of the PDP’s readiness to take over power from the All Progressives Congress in the State.

The Edo State Governorship primary election of the PDP will be held on the 20th of June, 2016.

Council Election: EDSIEC Should Explain Source Of Result – Martins

Olu Marins, Civil Society PractitionerA public affairs analyst, Olu Martins has asked the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, to explain where the result of the Esan North-east Local Council Bye-election came from.

Mr. Martins,on Wednesday, said  that the chairman of EDSIEC, Mr. Solomon Ogoh, announced the total figures of the election without the breakdown as gathered from the wards, an omission he insisted showed signs of irregularities.

“Mr. Ogoh announced total figure and did not announce the build-up as reflected in the wards,” he stated.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, Mr. Martins described the election as ‘government magic.’

“Most of the agents and I were in Uromi expecting that we were going to get the result only to hear that the result was being announced in Benin.”

The  EDSIEC boss, Mr. Ogoh, had said that the breakdown of the result would be announced later.

Also commenting on the heckling of the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, at the enlightenment session of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference held at Emagwero College in Benin City, Mr Martins said that it was as a result of the extreme temperament of the people at that moment.

He stressed that the governor had the right to air his view concerning the proposed National Conference.

The Civil Society Practitioner emphasised that the heckling of the governor also showed that Nigerians are becoming intolerant of the kind of leadership that exists in the country.

“This is why they have said that they will own the National conference and participate in it. Many people came from different places and the governor’s comment did not go down well with them, having spent time and money. The Nigerian people are demonstrating that this time around, they want to kick-start a process, they want to own a process and they want to be part of the process,” he explained.

He described the heckling as a mock revolution, showing Nigerian’s enthusiasm to participate in the process.

Governor Oshiomhole sworn-in for second term

The second term of Adams Oshiomhole as Edo state governor started yesterday, as he and his deputy were sworn in at the Samuel Ogbemodia stadium in Benin City.

Amongst national leaders who attended the swearing-in of governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state was former Head of State; General Yakubu Gowon.

He said the scorecard of his administration was a clear demonstration that the state was working against the thinking of cynics that development was impossible in the state.

“Today, we are proud of our scorecard. With all sense of responsibility and humility, we make bold to say that we have comprehensively impacted the lives of our people in so short a time since the creation of this state. Within our limited resources and in spite of the financial deficits we inherited, we have touched communities and lives across the state.

“We are carrying out reforms in all sectors of governance and promoting a culture of respect for ‘value-for-money” in all transactions, respect for public property, beautification of the capital city, modernization of local government headquarters, and promoting political, leadership responsibility and accountability. We have paid special attention to the transformation of the rural areas and the empowerment of women and the youth.

“The results of our efforts are clear and we have received commendations from within and beyond Nigeria. We have always believed that our people deserve the best and we are committed, as a government, to providing the best at all times for them. I can say without hesitation that the best is yet to come.”

Others in attendance are governors from the Action Congress states and the National Leader of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed-Tinubu.

President Jonathan, the hero of Edo state election – Doyin Okupe

Former presidential spokesman Doyin Okupe was on board the Sunrise Daily ride to discuss the Edo State Governorship election which was held and won by the incumbent Governor Adam Oshiomhole .

Doyin Okupe said, to him the true hero of the Edo State Governorship Election is the President of Nigeria; Dr. Goodluck.

Asked why by our anchor, Sulaiman Aledeh, he answered saying the President was decisive as there was state of anarchy in Edo state which built-up before the election proper and with all these the Presiden made sure every vote counted in the Edo State Election.

In furtherance, he said the President could have turned his cheeks aside and allow things to play itself out which would have allowed playing dirty between parties in contention.

He stated openly that that he was not happy Governor Oshiomhole of the ACN and the incumbent governor returned to the seat of power after the election.

 

Enjoy the rest of the interview.

Celebration in Edo as Oshiomhole is returned as governor

Jubilant residents of Benin took to the streets celebrating the re-election of Adams Oshiomhole as Governor of Edo State on Sunday.

The residents despite the heavy downpour, danced round the city in long convoy of vehicles. Youths rode on top of cars and buses, performing stunts and chanting “Oshio Baba,” and “Osho Baba,” continuously.

The re-elected governor Oshiomhole, who beat his counterparts by polling 477,478 votes in Saturday’s election in the state, joined the crowd at the city centre to move round Ring Road, Sapele Road, Ogbelaka Street and Sakponba Road in the capital city.

As at 8.30am, traffic came to a halt within the city as commercial motorcyclists, bus and taxi drivers, artisans and traders held aloft brooms, the symbol of Oshiomhole’s Action Congress of Nigeria hold of brooms which they waved rhythmically as they danced round town.

Before Oshimhole joined the celebration dance, the crowd had defied gun-toting security personnel to congregate at the gate of the governor’s residence.

Addressing the supporters, Oshiomhole, who described his victory as a true reflection of people’s wish, said, “God has blessed our project. It is finished. Now is the time to give thanks to God…I thank you for standing on your feet. On our feet, we shall fight for freedom; we shall never go on our knees. You young ones must remember that this fight was and is for your tomorrow. It’s for your freedom, your right to choose who governs you. We must make a statement that election riggers are out of business. What we owe is to sustain the development programmes”

The governor also addressed journalists after attending a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on Sunday in Benin. He said the outcome of the poll had shown that Edo people were one and a united people.

He said, “The election has dealt with ethnic considerations in conducting elections in Edo State. The vote has helped my task to unite the people of Edo State. Edo is not an artificial wall. All of us come from Benin. All of us accept that Oba of Benin, Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, is our father and we recognise it. We will transform Edo State to a level that the forces of darkness will no longer take over power in Edo State,” he declared.

Edo Governorship Election:Motion to recall 3,500 soldiers divides lawmakers

Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, the house of representatives will today undertake a physical vote to determine if the 3,500 soldiers deployed to Edo state for the governorship elections should be recalled or not.

Tempers rose at the house yesterday after the majority Peoples’ Democratic Party members tried to shout down a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria who complained about the troop deployment.

The lawmaker, Mr. Bimbo Daramola from Ekiti state, had raised a matter of urgent public importance to draw the attention of the house to the troop deployment.

Mr. Daramola said since there was no war in Edo state, and that he could not understand the essence of deploying 3,500 soldiers for the election.