Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State
• Election in 2 LGAs postponed till April 25
By Adibe Emenyonu
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has stated that he remains committed to the principle of One man, One vote and will not rig the Local Government election for anybody.
The governor stated this Saturday while speaking with newsmen after casting his vote at Iyamho Primary School, Etsako West Local Government Area during the Local Government poll in the state. But elections in two council areas was cancelled due to what the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) described as non-inclusion of names of Councillors in the ballot paper..
The two affected Local Government Councils areas are Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha Local Councils.
Besides, election in the rest 16 council areas began late as a result of late arrival and late distribution of voting materials.
Announcing the postponement, Chairman of EDSIEC, Solomon Ogoh, said the shift became necessary because the contractor saddled with the responsibility of printing the ballot paper did not include the names of contestants for Oredo and Ikpoba-Okha.
Following this, he said election in the two council areas would now take place, Thursday, April 25. On the election in other areas of the state, Oshiomhole frowned on the alleged breach of the electoral law by two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion and the Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolemenmen, who were reported to have used mobile policemen to intimidate voters against the provisions of the law.
“You can see that I have just voted and it is peaceful. The Local Government election is like a community issue, everybody knows the other, there are no ethnic issues and religious issues and so I think that seeing all these women coming to vote, two things come out first; you can see that the women are the loyal voters whether it is raining they are there.
“But there are two areas where we have some concern. First is the report we got from Okada where Chief Igbinedion brought mobile police all the way from Abuja, more than a dozen police men all armed. He was walking on the streets of Okada and they followed him all the way to Okada police station where election materials were being kept. First Chief Igbinedion did not register to vote in Okada. You can play back past election for the gubernatorial election. He is registered to vote in Benin City and you can check from the voting register; his name is in Benin City,” he said.
“By law, there is restriction of movement. Igbinedion is not supposed to travel to Okada, let alone walking on the street in a place where he is not registered being protected by the police illegally acquired from Abuja. But I have asked to talk to the Commissioner of Police, the Director of SSS, to prevail on him not to continue to breach the law. We will try,” the governor said.