Violent Protests Erupt in Edo, As Ize-Iyamu Rejects Election Results


•       Says INEC declared fake results

By Iyobosa Uwugiaren

Violent protests by thousands of PDP members erupted in different parts of the state on Thursday.  As early as 7am, the roads leading to the state INEC office were blocked by angry youths amidst chanting of ”All we are saying, give us democracy.”

Meanwhile, the PDP governorship candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has rejected the outcome of Wednesday’s election, saying the results were different from those collated at the polling units and declared at different wards.

The security men were forced to fire teargas and many gunshots to scare the protesters away from the vicinity of the INEC office..

Addressing a press conference on Thursday in his house—-in Benin City along with the Edo State PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih—-while the results were still being announced local government by local government, Ize-Iyamu accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of conniving with Adams Oshiomhole and security agencies to declared fake results.

‘’The PDP in Edo State, after carefully reviewing the events of yesterday September 28, 2016, totally rejects the purported outcome of the voting exercise and the results announced by INEC’’, the PDP candidate stated.

‘’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 are fabrication which do not reflect the true picture of what transpired during the election.’’

He said his party was not totally surprised because long before the election they had anticipated what happened and had also warned INEC, security agencies and alerted Edo people at various press conferences and statements, on the situation.

Ize-Iyamu added, ‘’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 either at the units or the ward collation centres. Our rejection of the results released by INEC so far is based on, but not limited to, the following: 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.’’

He added that the scenario is further buttressed by the fact that on Monday September 26, 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’’, he added.

Ize-Iyamu added that everything that transpired had been carefully designed by the Oshiomole-led Edo State government and their cohorts in INEC, saying they perfected a scheme to void thousands of ballot papers, to enable them perpetrate their devices. He said that it was widely recorded that over 88% of the voided ballots were PDP votes.

Accusing the security agencies of aiding the rigging of the election, the PDP said the postings of Commissioners of Police, officials of the Department of State Security and removal of officers from their units, even during the voting exercise, was a clear plot to destabilize the security apparatus in various LGAs and senatorial districts.

He said the choice of collation from places they chose as well as the choice of the state returning officer, whom he described as a close friend and associate of former Governors Kayode Fayemi and Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti State, who are also top APC chieftains, alleging that they also prevented PDP agents in many cases from entering collation centres.

He continued: ‘’There are numerous accounts and records of the police harassment all over the state, designed to strike fear in the hearts of PDP members, using men of the CIB (Criminal Investigation Department), SARS, MOPOL 60 Command, DSS and other security agencies.

‘’Of particular concern is the atrocious gangsterism demonstrated in Etsako West, the home of the incumbent APC Governor and the deputy governor nominee, where many of our members and agents were assaulted, almost mortally, and some still being detained as we speak.

‘’Those still detained include Michael Etu, Gabriel Etu and Mohammed Sani. Also, a Honda Accord vehicle, with registration number FST 868 BC, belonging to one of our stalwarts was destroyed, and is still lying at the voting centre.

‘’There is also the widely reported and recorded case of collation center disruption in Oredo local government, by the notorious Osakpamwan Eriyo, who invaded the venue and released shots in the air, chasing away supporters and people, before making away with the results. This happened in the full glare of the Police, DSS, INEC and other security personnel. Interestingly, neither INEC nor the Police showed any concern or any resistance, even as we speak.’’