Governor Adams Oshiomhole
Adibe Emenyonu in
As parties conclude their primaries, preparatory to elect candidates that will represent them in the April 20 Local Government Council elections, there is every indication that opposition political parties in Edo State may boycott the elections.
The state chairman of Labour Party (LP), Mr. Sam Omede, disclosed this in an interview with journalists shortly after he monitored his party’s primaries in Oredo Local Government, alleging that there were plans by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state to rig the election.
``I spoke to some of my aspirants from Edo Central, they have been told that the result of the election would be written from Government House. For that, they are scared to contest the election.
``We challenge Governor Oshiomhole to come out and assure the people that the election will be free and fair based on one man, one vote that he has been preaching. If we find that the election is not going to be free and fair, we will pull out,’’ he said.
Omede told newsmen that the demand by the state Internal Revenue Board of tax clearance fee of N466,000 from councillorship aspirants and N750,000 from chairmanship aspirants was a ploy by the ACN-controlled government to scare contestants from other parties from participating in the election.
Also speaking yesterday, Edo state People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Publicity Secretary, Mr. Mathew Urhoghide, confirmed the high tax clearance fees, explaining that the state government has threatened to collect more fees from businessmen-turned politicians who failed to show proof of payment of their taxes.
He announced that 40 persons collected forms for chairmanship positions on the platform of the PDP while 320 persons collected forms for councillorship positions to contest on the platform of the party across the state.
As at press time, the results of the primaries were still being collated.