The Labour Party members and candidates in the Saturday’s Local Government Election in Edo state have protested the conduct of the election, alleging that no election took place across the state.
The party faithful, including chairmanship and councillorship candidates who protested the conduct of the election to the secretariat of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said the election was a sham and charade.
They alleged that the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) failed to live up to its promise to conduct free, fair and credible election.
Mashido Osamudiamen Eghaghe, Labour Party chairmanship candidate for Ikpoba Okha Local Government and his counterpart in Oredo Local Government, Daniel-Ero Onaghise described the election as a one-party show as against the seven political parties that registered for the election.
Also, Onaghise who alleged that as at 11:40 am there was no electoral material in all the wards in Ikpoba Okha Local Government, added that it was only in ward 7 and 10 that about 100 ballot papers were received in some units.
Osaretin said that there was shortfall in the ballot papers supplied, compared to the huge numbers of registered voters in the units.
While describing the development as unacceptable, he opined that the people who came out in large numbers to vote for the Labour Party were denied the opportunity to have a grassroots government of their own.
He, however, appealed to members of the party to remain calm as every constitutional and legal means would be deployed to ensure that the wish of the people prevail.
The protesters also alleged that electoral materials were allegedly hijacked by political thugs in Ikpoba Okha and Oredo local government areas.
They also alleged that their candidates and members were shot at different wards and units with some currently receiving medical treatment in undisclosed hospitals.
A Councillorship candidate in Oredo ward 2, Benedict Omodon alleged that over 80 units in the ward, there was no electoral materials.
Omodon, who alleged that he was shot at by political thugs, however, called on the National and State Houses of Assembly to as a matter of urgency amend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act to allow only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conduct local government election.
Reacting to the conduct of the election, David Imuse, the Edo State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) also described the election as scam and charade.
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“This election is a scam, it is a charade, they brought insufficient ballot papers but no single result sheets; how can you conduct an election when there is no result sheet?
“It is happening right in the entire Edo Central senatorial district. I also called Ekpoma, the same thing happened in Esan North East, Esan West and everywhere.
“No result sheets and I don’t see how an election can take place without result sheets,” he said.
Kinglsey Ogeifa, All Progressives Congress, chairman in Egor local government Area also called for the amendment of the Electoral Act and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to empower INEC to conduct local government elections across the country.
Meanwhile, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, described the election as one of the best local government elections ever conducted in the state and in Nigeria.
Obaseki, who commended the electorate for defying the rain, noted that there can never be alternative to local government election.
“In spite of the rain, the turnout that I am seeing is considerably interesting. That means political parties did all what they were supposed to do to sensitise the people.
“Secondly, we see that the process has been very peaceful. I am very happy with this.That people are here some minutes before the close of the poll is very interesting to to me.
“We have not had any incidence of violence from anywhere. I believe that the popular candidates will win the election particularly you can see the presence of people and their agents around.
“I think people will accept when the results are ready,” he said.
BusinessDay reports that low turnout, late arrival electoral materials characterised the election as well as the large presence of security personnel in all the polling units.