Edo government, PDP disagree over alleged plot to manipulate local councils election
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the state government was planning to conduct a “midnight” local government election that will ensure that All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates emerged winner in the election.
The party in a statement issued weekend in Benin city, signed by the state publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, accused the state government of interfering in the administration of local government councils in the state through a bill sent to the Edo State House of Assembly.
The statement noted that the state government plans to achieve this through a bill sent to the state House of Assembly by Governor Godwin Obaseki, demanding the immediate amendment of some sections of the Law establishing the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) particularly the reduction of statutory 90 days notice before Local Government elections to a mere 45 days.
However, in a reaction, Special Adviser Media and Communication Strategy to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, said there was no plan to conduct a secret Local Council election, as it is impossible to do so.He said, “It is completely false. There is no such thing as a secret election. The PDP is desperate and when people are desperate, they say all sorts of things. Edo people, Nigerians and everyone else has stopped taking them serious.”
According to the PDP Publicity Secretary, “This amendment is not only alarming, it is unacceptable, illegal and unfair. It exposes the intolerance the APC government has for opposition and fear of accountability it must undergo when opposition candidates are elected chairmen of the various councils they have “burgled” in the last nine years.
“This adjustment or amendment is an attempt to deny other parties time to nominate their candidate, campaign and sell their manifesto to the populace as well as time to examine the candidates APC plans to parade.
“While the APC state government has secretly chosen February 6th, 2018, as the date to conduct the local government election, it has refused to make it public as part of its ploy is to deceive the opposition parties and the people of the state.“We hereby advise this government to reverse this ill thought out policy and always have the welfare and wellbeing of Edo people as its priority, everything needs not be politicized.”