‘Edo governorship election brazenly rigged’
The leaderships of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) both at the national level and in Edo State have continued to hold divergent opinions over the Edo State governorship election held on Wednesday, which was won by Mr. Godwin Obaseki of APC.
While APC continued to commend the conduct of the election and its outcome, PDP on the other hand believes that the exercise was rigged and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Inyamu shortchanged. PDP argued that the ruling party did not even bother to display some level of intelligence in its rigging.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, the Vice Chairman, South South PDP zone, Brother Emma Ogidi said, “When you want to rig election you must exhibit some intelligence, APC’s rigging was too brazen. Governor Adams Oshiomhole and APC forgot that there were PDP people also collating.”
He also flayed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying: “It was wrong of the commission to bar people from the collation centers. And look at the kind of people they put as returning officers, those people lack confidence in explaining certain things to the electorate.”
He wondered how somebody would say because card reader machine did not work “that was why they stopped some people from voting and when asked where in this country has card reader become a law, the man was just moping. It’s a shame.”
He said the South South zone of the party has endorsed the position of Edo PDP state on this matter. He said the PDP has enough materials to go to the tribunal “but we like to say that democracy is actually under threat given the manner the government and APC acted in Edo.”
Ogidi alleged that the party has been holding elections and its unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari has never congratulated any of our governors “but in this show of shame, he has already congratulated the APC man in Edo.
“But we are ready to defend the democracy most of us have spent our lives to enthrone in Nigeria through the courts and all lawful means.”Ogidi expressed PDP’s confidence of upturning the outcome of the election at the tribunal “we will win the case at the tribunal … you can see what is happening in the judiciary today. The judiciary has risen up to the challenges and ridden itself of corrupt judges and this has given us hope.
“So we are hopeful. With this, there is hope for this country. That is why we, the politicians, are hanging on to this hope, we must use it instead of resorting to violence and unlawful means to seek redress.”
However, erstwhile Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei said the APC victory was the continuation of Edo peoples’ resolve to support and promote credible and progressive governance in the past eight years within state.
Ochei, who made the submission during a post-election interactive session with journalists in Benin, observed that the collective resolve of the electorate to vote Obaseki as governor underscores the overwhelming acceptability the ruling party enjoys at the federal and state levels, owing to it’s people-oriented policy of security, anti-corruption and accountability in all spheres of national endeavour.