Party wants level-playing field for Edo council poll
•Oshiomhole denies endorsement allegation
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has urged the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) to provide a level-playing field for participants in the upcoming council polls.
This was canvassed by the state Chairman of the DA, Frank Ukonga, in Benin City, the state capital.
The call is coming on the heels of allegation that former Governor Adams Oshiomhole has endorsed some candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But, Oshiomhole’s media aide, Victor Oshioke, said his principal is a democrat who believes that party guidelines on primaries must be followed strictly.
He said those using Oshiomhole’s name were doing so without his knowledge and advised the people to disregard such rumour.
Ukonga said in an interview yesterday that the recent conduct by EDSIEC might be a re-play of the just concluded local government poll in Delta State.
“We want to believe that the state electoral commission would not tow the line of other states in the conduct of the coming local government elections.
“We appeal to all the parties and their candidate to give a free level playing field for the candidates to test their popularity.
“Local government elections should not be seen as winner takes all, or a contest where the ruling party must win all the chairmanship and councillorship positions,” he said.
According to Ukonga, though the time frame given to the parties to come out with their candidates were shot, he is optimistic that the DA’s candidates would be the ones to beat in the poll.
EDSIEC had on Friday released the date for the conduct of the elections.
The commission had also on Monday, met with stakeholders, including the political parties, were it reeled out modalities for the poll.
Meanwhile, some APC aspirants have called on the party’s leaders to open up the democratic space by allowing the people to decide their representatives.
Some of the aspirants spoke in separate interviews on Sunday.
They expressed displeasure over attempts to impose candidates on the party by some of its leaders.