Reactions as PDP sweeps all 18 LG in Edo State

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday won all the 18 local government chairmanship seats in Edo State as announced by Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC).

This is even as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP) described the exercise as a charade and a scam.

The returning officers from the 18 local government areas took turns to announce the results from their respective local government at the EDSIEC headquarters along Airport Road in Benin City after which they handed over the result sheets to the commission’s chairman Justice James Oyomere (rtd).

Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki in his remarks on Sunday described the victory of the PDP as a confirmation that PDP is truly the party of the people and the election, a true reflection of the wishes of the majority of Edo people. He applauded the people of the state for the peaceful conduct of the exercise and noted that there was no violence recorded during the electioneering process.

He said, “We have a situation room where we monitored the election process across the state and want to thank the people. You can see that we are democratically mature in Edo State, in terms of the way the election was conducted.

“I was surprised at the diligence of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission. I went round and saw the number of polling units mounted by EDSIEC and the various electoral officers in the three metropolitan local government areas and it was quite impressive.

“The turnout was fair as expected and it shows that we can conduct elections without disrupting economic and social activities.

“The people voted and went about their various activities for the weekend. Overall, I believe we have done well. It was a free and fair election. The mass participation and dominance of PDP as a party in the State was clearly exhibited in this election.”

Speaking on the credibility of the process, Obaseki continued, “I have not seen an election that has not been challenged even the one in America was challenged. That is why provisions are made in the law and in the process; for tribunals to review and adjudicate on cases and complaints from contestants.

“Overall, the evidence is overwhelming as PDP campaigned in this LG election as if it was a major national election. I went with them around the 18 local government areas of the State and Councillors campaigned vigorously across various wards across the State but I didn’t see too much of the opposition parties and I am not surprised at the results from the election.”

But the Edo State chairman of the APC, David Imuse, who spoke on phone from Ekpoma, described the elections as a scam, and called for the cancellation of the exercise.

He said, “This election is a scam, it is a charade, they brought insufficient ballot papers but no single result sheets how can you conduct an election when there is no result sheet? It is happening right in the entire Edo Central senatorial district I am calling from Ekpoma, the same thing is happening in Esan North East, Esan West everywhere here, no result sheets and I don’t see how an election can take place without result sheets.”

Meanwhile, Labour Party has also described the exercise as a charade and called for the dissolution of EDSIEC.

A statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh quoted the party’s National Chairman, Barr. Julius Abure as stating that democracy can only succeed when authorities allow the votes of the people to count and the choice of the voters respected.

He said that reports from LP agents across most of the polling units in the state confirmed that there were deliberate effort by the EDSIEC to frustrate voters by ensuring that the electoral officers either came late to the polling units or didn’t show up at all. He said that in few places where the election held, insufficient ballot papers were brought with no single result sheet lamenting that at the end of the day, results were churned out with the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party returning elected.

He said, “Before the election, credible information reached us that the state government had no intention of conducting any election, let alone a credible one. The EDSIEC we gathered simply took instructions from the government house and announced an already prepared list as winners of the election.

“Edo people and Nigerians deserve the best to represent them in government. What happened in Edo state was a mockery of democracy and such must not be allowed to stand. We therefore call on the state government to also condemn the charade that happened on Saturday, denounce the outcome and call for a fresh and credible election.

“State Independent Electoral Commissions across Nigeria have failed to help democracy grow. They are purely appendages of the states government and there is nothing independent in them.

“We therefore call on the national assembly to scrap the commission and entrust the conduct of the local government elections on the Independent National Electoral Commission for proper management. State Independent Electoral Commission has become an embarrassment to democracy in Nigeria. It is therefore time to scrap them so as to restore sanity in our grassroot politics”.


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