The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Godwin Obaseki yesterday emerged winner of the gubernatorial election held in Edo state. The Edo election is one of the most popular so far this year owing to the controversy that surrounded the change of dates, the tough contest between the major contenders, PDP and APC and the legacies of the godfathers that backed up each of the contestant.
It has come and gone but here are some of the things we think you should know about the events of yesterday all in one post:
- The PDP has rejected the election results: The opposition party represented in the elections by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has declared without delay that the results were manipulated by the electoral body, INEC. According to the state chairman of the party, Mr. Dan Orbih, the announcement of results were “delayed in order to announce pre-determined fabricated results.” This does not come as a shock as the game called “Nigerian politics” is played by these rules. The PDP has promised that it will have more definite proof of these claims in few days.
- The election was violence-free until…: The Edo elections were initially proposed based on security warnings by the Nigerian police and DSS, amongst other reasons. So, it was expected that the security agencies would have a tight grip on the voting centres and other parts of the state to control any threats once they arose. A week ago, the Nigerian Army announced that drones would be deployed across all the 18 LGAs of the state to ensure lives and property are properly monitored on the election day. As hoped for, the voting process was hitch free until earlier yesterday when irate PDP supporters staged a protest in front of the INEC office as they rejected the election results that were announced. Security operatives fired gunshots in the air and used teargas to scare protesters away.
- Print and online journalists were denied access to the collation centre: According to the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeneye, INEC’s plan to manipulate election results would not have pulled with prying newsmen sticking around so they were refused access to the collation centre in Benin. But it was later reported that only television broadcast journalists were let in and access was restricted to those whose names appeared on a certain, inexplicable list.
- Labour party and APGA had a poor outing at the election: While the major parties, APC and PDP were counting their total votes in hundreds of thousands, APGA recorded a total of 876 votes. Worse off was Labour party with a paltry 182 votes. KOWA party did not make an effort to secure a single vote but held things down on Twitter by encouraging Edo voters to show up at polling centres and protect their ballot. The party’s candidate, Thompson Osadolor had camped with PDP’s Ize-Iyamu days before the election owing to lack of funds to carry out a decent campaign programme on their own.
- The Edo election is a win for INEC: Declaring elections as inconclusive had been the norm for the electoral body, INEC in elections that held last year and part of this year. INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu blamed the spate on politicians and the inability to account for every polling unit. For the Edo election, the commission had said few months back that it had evolved a roadmap for a smooth conduct and it looks like that worked.
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