Saraki urges Edo voters to protect their votes
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who is one of the candidates in Saturday’s governorship elections in the state, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is employing foul means to rig his opponent, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, to victory.
Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is contesting for a second term as governor of Edo State.
The governor in a statement by Crusoe Osagie, his Special Adviser, said, “there is an ongoing deliberate election manipulation in areas where he has strongholds.”
According to him: “Suddenly, card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.
“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage.
“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”
Meanwhile, the PDP has alleged that the Nigerian Army is interfering in the governorship election.
The party said soldiers are occupying Owan West collation centre.
“#EdoDecides2020-Men of the @HQNigerianArmy have taken over Sobe collation centre in Owan West LGA”, the platform tweeted.
“They are chasing away party agents &observers from the collation centre. Nigerians should hold the @HQNigerianArmy responsible if anything happens to the results from Owan West LGA.”
Also speaking on the election, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has appealed to Edo people to protect their votes.
Counting of votes is going on in some areas, while the results of some units are being declared.
Saraki told the people not to relax on vigilance.
“The on-going #EdoDecides2020 is getting to the crucial stages. I urge the good people of Edo State not to get carried away but to protect their votes”, the former Kwara Governor tweeted.
“The enthusiasm and patriotic conduct of the good people of Edo State must not be thwarted or subverted by any @inecnigeria official, either permanent or ad-hoc; or any security personnel, no matter the rank.
“Nigeria’s glory is more important than the huge ego of politicians. And so, @inecnigeria and security officials must work to protect Nigeria’s image and not to satisfy the whims and caprices of some power-hungry politicians.”
Also worried by the activities of agents suspected to be APC supporters, a group, Concerned Nigerians, has slammed President Muhammadu Buhari over the administration’s overbearing influence in the conduct of elections in the country since the All Progressives Congress came into power in 2015, writes Sahara Reporters.
Convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju, in a statement said, “The governorship poll ongoing in Edo is a travesty. The umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agents must take responsibility for the violence, voter apathy and electoral fraud that is being witnessed.
“It’s appalling that after deploying 33,000 armed policemen, soldiers, the DSS operatives to protect lives and property of the people, the election is still marred with violence. The security agents, I learnt, are intimidating voters, electoral officers and hounding opposition members.
“There’s no better time to sign the electoral reform Bill into law than now. Buhari must take cognizance of the fact that he is one of the biggest beneficiaries of a free, fair and credible election and as such, must not deny others of this privilege.
“In view of the foregoing, what is happening in Edo can be likened to a coup. It’s an unconstitutional change of government. President Buhari has legalised vote-buying and violence. To win any election now, what is required of politicians is to recruit enough thugs, compromise security agents, INEC officials sent to conduct elections. It is unfortunate and must be condemned by all and sundry.”
Adeyanju also enjoined the international community to watch closely those perpetrating violence and subverting the will of the people.