Edo Election to go ahead as scheduled- INEC

Chidi Samuel

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said  the Edo State governorship election will go on as planned. This made known to newsmen on Wednesday by Mr Solomon Soyebi, the INEC commissioner in Charge of  Voter Education and Publicity after a stake holders meeting in Benin City, the Edo State Capital. According to him, the electoral body were yet to be informed of any threat by the agencies.

The clarification became necessary because of an earlier advice by the Police and the Department of State Security asking the electoral body to postpone Saturday elections over security concerns.

The two security agencies had earlier said that the advice was based on credible intelligence at their disposal, which suggested that insurgents were planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between September 12 and 13.

The agencies identified Edo State as one of the states that have been earmarked for attack.

Reacting to the development, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Edo State described the move as an attempt to Scuttle the Country’s democracy.  Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the party, called on PDP members and supporters to remain law-abiding and stay “alert on this calculated attempt at scuttling our hard-earned democracy”. In a Statement, he described the development as “lamentable” .

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“Our attention has been drawn to the shocking breaking news of the advice by the DSS and the police to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the Saturday, September 10, 2016 gubernatorial election in Edo state on excuse of insurgency alert,” the statement by Adeyeye read.

“We are taken aback on this advice, coming a day after the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari was present at the Mega Rally of his party, the APC in Benin city, which was concluded without any hitch.

“It is on record that INEC recently conducted a hitch-free senatorial by-election in Borno state, which is a high point of insurgency in the country but the security agencies saw no reason to call off the election.

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“We are calling on the President, Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies and direct them to provide full security, and also to desist doing anything that will jeopardize this forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State.

“We are equally counting on INEC not to succumb to this false alarm by acting independently and holding election as scheduled.

“We hope that this advice from the security agencies are not in concert with the APC of having seen the indices of losing the Edo State Gubernatorial Election to the PDP.”

It will also be recalled that earlier on Monday, some candidates of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) writing the General Certificate Examination (GCE) in Edo State demanded for a shift the governorship election.