by Isi Esene
The overall peaceful conduct of the Edo State gubernatorial elections is still being maintained. According to reports, from Benin City to Okada, accreditation of voters have been peaceful so far.
Voters have expressed satisfaction with the conduct of INEC officials because of the timely arrival of voting materials in many voting centres.
But there have been a few flashpoints where allegations of ballot-stuffing have been made. At Ebenezer Primary School, off Ihama Road, over 300 people have complained of not finding their names on the voters’ register and some of them became unruly but the situation has since been put under control.
There is a similar report of protests at the PDP candidate, Charles Airhiavbere’s polling station at Garrick Memorial Primary School where many voters protested being denied their voting franchise due to their inability to locate their names on the register. They vowed not to allow anyone vote until they are accredited. The security agents were overwhelmed by the protesters and have called for back-up.
The State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, who is contesting for a second term in office, has accused INEC of supplying fake voters’ registers. He warned that the people might resort to violence if the anomaly is not rectified.
He then boasted that as soon as he is through with voting, he will head to Benin to ensure that his supporters are not disenfranchised.
When asked what his next line of action would be if he loses the election due to alleged electoral malpractices, Oshiomhole replied, “We will not go to court, we will fight it out this time.”
The INEC resident electoral commissioner has, however, extended accreditation at Forestry polling station to allow for the number of people still waiting to be accredited before voting takes place.
Voting has however commenced in many parts of the state.