Edo 2020: Obaseki charges INEC, police on credible poll
…INEC, police assure votes must count
Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Edo State, the state governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Godwin Obaseki, has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
Obaseki made the call on Monday at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by INEC for security agencies, candidates of political parties and other stakeholders in Benin City, the state capital.
The governor was accompanied by his deputy and running mate, Philip Shaibu, chairman of Edo State PDP Campaign Council, Dan Orbih, chairman of Edo State PDP, Tony Aziegbemi, among other members of the Edo PDP Campaign Council.
“Do the INEC rules permit the use of equipment like drones with cameras to be flying in a problematic voting centre so that we can have recordings in those areas?” Obaseki asked.
“On the Internet, there are accusations and insinuations that some people are writing results due to their access to result sheets. As an assurance, is it possible that the 192 result sheets for ward collation, the 18 local government collation centres and the result sheet for the state be authenticated?” he further asked.
In his remarks earlier, chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, reassured the electorate in the state that their votes would count.
“As eligible voters in Edo State come out for a peaceful election on Saturday, your votes will count. Polling unit results will be uploaded for public view,” Yakubu said.
“However, this will not happen when the electoral process is disrupted by violence or malpractices. The commission is determined that no one will benefit from impunity or rewarded for bad behavior,” he said.
The INEC boss said the commission would not tolerate vote buying, ballot box snatching, multiple voting, hijacking of election materials, distraction of collation, attack on INEC officials or compelling them to declare unofficial results.
“The people of Edo State must be allowed to truly vote for their preferred candidate without inducement or harassment. Thugs and their sponsors will not have the freedom to move around freely to disrupt the election process or collation of results,” he said.
He further said the national headquarters of the commission would monitor the election throughout Edo.
In his response, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, assured that the Edo State election would be free, fair and credible, noting that the personnel of the Nigeria Police would remain professional in the discharge of their duties.
“All the flashpoints and actors engaged in or planning to threaten the electoral process have been identified and plans have been perfected to deal with the situation accordingly,” Adamu said.
“As part of our election and security plans, all the three senatorial districts, the 18 local government areas of the state, 192 wards and 2,627 polling units across the state have been mapped out and adequate deployment will be made to ensure security,” he assured.