Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The local government election in Edo State held across the 18 Council areas and 192 Wards of the state saturday saw the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) sweeping the elective positions; following the boycott by the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Voters turned out early in many voting centres events as electoral materials arrived late in some of the centres visited, while in some centres, there was low voters turn out.
Besides, the election was peaceful at Garrick Memorial Secondary voting centre, Oredo Ward 1, Igbesamwan Primary School voting centre, Oredo Ward 9, Agbado Primary School voting centre, Oredo Ward 12 and Emokpai Primary School voting centre, where the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki voted at 12.30 pm.
Similarly at Ologbosere Primary School voting centre, Ikpoba-Okha Ward 7, with 39 units, the turnout of voters was impressive, just as it was at Itohan Secondary School voting centre, Ikpoba-Okha Ward 6.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote, Governor Obaseki said “in most units and wards the number of people that have decamped from PDP to APC has been amazing and I think it is logical because every politician aspires from his unit and if you do not give him the opportunity he will seek it from outside. So that was what happened. We can confidently say that the opposition party is non-existent in Edo State. It has been peaceful and orderly.
“This is a precursor to 2019, Edo State as you see it is on lock down for APC. So maybe the contest will be outside Edo State but Edo State is an APC state.
“The only incident we heard is in Egor and the situation has been taken care of. I don´t see any low turnout, what has happened is that the councillors themselves, the candidates, have gone out to mobilise people. I had challenged them that the votes they obtained in their election must be bigger than mine when I ran for election. I have been monitoring the distribution of materials since morning, reports reaching me say that things have gone on smoothly”, he added.
As speaking after voting at Iyamho in Etsako West Local Government Area, immediate past Governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said APC has finally liquidated the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, adding that he was satisfied that the PDP surrendered defeat without a blow.
“You can see people are celebrating democracy at the grassroots. They are more interested in local elections because that is the man they can see every day. You can see people are keen to vote.
“With this election, we have just completed the liquidation of the PDP. There is no further proof of that liquidation other than that they have on their own admitted to defeat. They don’t regard the people who vote for them at the grassroots. They have my sympathy. This was the promise that from a party that used to arrogantly rig people out and ask you to go to court.
“We have demystified them and entrenched one man one vote which is an area they don’t have competence. They are not used to voting, they are used to writing results. It shows for them they are ready to spend in the big elections. That they are not interested in the elections for local people reveal their character. I feel fulfilled that in my lifetime, the PDP surrendered without a blow. Their going to court was an excuse to their members that they are alive.”
Also commenting on the election, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, Esq, expressed satisfaction at the large turn-out of voters despite initial logistics problems which caused delay in arrival of voting materials, stressing that the opposition PDP was non-existent in the state.
On his part, House of Representatives member, Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma described the election as peaceful and urged the good people still left in the PDP in Edo State to join the APC and support the good works of the state government, adding “anybody who refuses to support a government that is doing well is a sin against man and God”.