Mixed Reactions Trail Edo Guber Election

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The Peoples Democratic Party rejects the results of the governorship election announced by the Independent National Electoral‎ declaring Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress candidate as winner

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Oct 3, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT  |

Mixed reactions have continued to trail the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the just ended Guber elections in Edo State. The results showed that Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, won the election. But the Peoples Democratic Party described the results as fake while the APC is happy with the outcome as party members jubliated in the three senatorial districts of the state.

Obaseki defeated his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after polling 319,483 as against 253,173 polled by the PDP candidate.

Out of the 18 local government councils of the state, Obaseki won in 12 while Ize-Iyamu won in five. Obaseki polled 51.3 percent of the total votes cast in the election, according to the results declared by INEC, while Ize-Iyamu polled 40 percent of the votes cast.

Obaseki, who welcomed his declaration as the winner of the election promised to press ahead with his campaign promises. “By your votes, you clearly affirmed your faith in my ability to lead our state into a new era. This is a responsibility Philip Shaibu, my running mate, and myself do not take lightly. Our promise to build a state anchored on a productive economy that will transform and empower our citizens is sincere.

“We promised jobs. We promised empowerment of our citizens. We promised improved social welfare services and a more secured state. We will strive to deliver on all of these promises. As we travelled all over our great state selling our programmes, we also took note of your concerns and problems, and I want to assure you that we will do everything in our power to address them.

“Let me, at this point, sincerely salute the courage of all those, who came out to exercise their franchise in spite of the intimidating manoeuvres of merchants of violence to derail the conduct of a peaceful, free and fair election; you are the heroes of this election! You saw through their propaganda and lies, and you made the right decision.”

But the declaration was immediately challenged by the PDP. The declaration of results at the INEC collation centre was, however, characterised by much intrigue and drama starting from the night of the election, when declaration of results was suspended at about 1.30 a.m., yesterday. The PDP cried wolf, alleging that the declared results were doctored by the APC and INEC. The party, through Chris Enehikare, its spokesman in the state, declared that based on results from the polling units, the PDP candidate was having a comfortable lead across the state.

“The PDP in Edo State, after carefully reviewing the events of yesterday September 28th, 2016, totally rejects the purported outcome of the voting exercise and the results announced by INEC. Firstly, we are in total amazement at the details of the results released by INEC because all of them are fake and not the figures announced at various units and as collated at various wards across the state.

“The fake results announced by INEC are entirely fabrication which does not reflect the true picture of what transpired during the election. However, we are not totally surprised because long before now, we had anticipated this and had also warned INEC, security agencies and alerted Edo people at various press conferences and statements, on this situation,” he said. ‎

“Secondly, based on the results emanating from across the state, PDP won the election fair and square, and with a very comfortable margin. So it is with disgust that we have been receiving fake results which were never recorded in either the units or the ward collation centres.”

On his part, Ize-Iyamu, who also rejected the results, expressed amazement at the way the results did not reflect the figures collated at the polling centres and the wards. “First, we are in total amazement at the details of the results released by INEC because all of them are fake and not the figures announced at various units and as collated at various wards across the state.

“The fake results announced by INEC are entirely a fabrication which did not reflect the true picture of what transpired during the election. However, we are not totally surprised because long before now, we had anticipated this and had also warned INEC, security agencies and alerted Edo people at various press conferences and statements, on this situation. We know that a fair turnout of voters was recorded state-wide because the weather was very clement and voters were enthusiastic. However, unknown to unsuspecting Edo electorate, INEC had long provided the serial numbers of all result sheets to Adams Oshiomole and his APC government, to print fresh result sheets.

“This is not a mere allegation. From the benefit of hindsight, the 18-day period of postponement of the election was to provide enough time for the governor and his government to print these result sheets and perfect the writing of fake results at the units and at all levels of collation. This scenario is further buttressed by the fact that on Monday, September 26th, 2016, when election materials arrived from the CBN at INEC state office for inspection, agents of the political parties including the APC and PDP were given pre-typed copies of the serial numbers of all result sheets and the ballot papers.

This was a clear security breach and an infringement on the credibility of the process, as these are sensitive materials, which should not have been sighted even by INEC officers. Everything that has transpired had been carefully designed by the Adams Oshiomole led Edo State government and their cohorts in INEC. They perfected a scheme to void thousands of ballot papers, to enable them to perpetrate their devices. It is widely recorded that over 88 percent of the voided ballots were PDP votes.”

He also cited several cases of the disruption of collation in some areas, including the case of Oredo where he said police, INEC, Department of State Services, DSS, and other security operatives watched akimbo as thugs came and packed result sheets. Describing it as a travesty of justice, Ize-Iyamu also noted the open inducement of voters with sums of N2,000 to N5,000, saying that the state authorities poured out at between N4 billion and N5 billion to bribe voters.

But Governor Oshiomhole, who welcomed the outcome of the highly anticipated election, said he had now permanently retired some PDP chieftains from active politics. “They said they would disgrace Oshiomhole in this election because they were plotting evil during the elections, but God thwarted all their plans, and I told our people these people wanted to kill us because of election, but they will never succeed.

“And I want to thank security agents, who worked so hard to ensure that those evil people were apprehended. Just look at the result of the election, Igbinedion lost his ward, Ikimi was defeated in Igueben, and that is because these people have lost touch with the people. We had a rerun in 2012 with all the godfathers on one side and new forces of change on my side. I won in all the 18 local government areas.

“Our people have spoken loud and clear that they believe in democracy, they just don’t want to be beneficiaries, they want to be the drivers of the process. This was shown by the way they conducted themselves on election day. There is something unique in the way things have turned out. In Esan land, the senatorial zone of the PDP godfather, we won two out of the five local governments. We gave him a fight that he managed to escape. He used the factor of his age to play on the emotion of the people. It is a victory for the people of the state.”

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