Council elections in Esan North East of Edo State: A rape of democracy – Vanguard
Months after the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) cancelled the first local government election in Esan North East Local Government Area of the State, October 22, 2013 was set aside by the Commission to conduct a by-election for the positions of Chairman and Councillors for the council. After rigorous campaigns by the major political parties in the area, PDP and APC, the elections were held without any serious case of malpractice or setback.
Collation of results had been concluded in some Wards that had all the electoral materials on time while voting was still ongoing in other locations where materials arrived late. However, a case in point where efforts were made by some agents of APC to snatch ballot boxes around ‘Angle 80’ and Uromi Girls Primary School in the town, were successfully thwarted by vigilant police team ably led by the Area Commander, and the suspects were apprehended when it became clear there were ulterior intentions to disrupt the peace election. Thereafter, the elections continued unabated and in an orderly manner till the collation of results from the unit to the ward started.
While the collation of the results was ongoing under the watchful eyes of head of security agencies in Edo State, unsuspecting electorates and people of Esan North East Local Government, were taken aback that EDSIEC under the connivance of the Oshiomhole-led Government, was addressing a press conference in Benin City, the State Capital, announcing a concocted result for an election that took place at Uromi. It was discovered that the Chief Returning Officer of EDSIEC who was to supervise the final collation of results and announce the winner for the LG election had sneaked out of his duty post at noon, under the guise that he was going to “collect something” but secretly returned to Benin City.
It is on record that all the PDP Councillors who won their elections in the eleven wards were issued with Certificates of Return by the designated EDSIEC at the ward before the results were taken to the collation centre. It is therefore appalling to hear the state government inaugurated all the APC candidates in the election within 24 hours with an allegation that the Nigeria police aided to rig the election. The Police Commissioner for Edo State and other security agencies that personally monitored the election, are now faced with the challenge of putting the records in perspective to extricate themselves of blames, and for the world to know the true position of things during and after the people of Esan North East Local Government had voted to elect John Yakubu and PDP Councilors for their local government council.
From Eiwanfoh Odaloighe, Uromi, Edo State Uromi, Edo State
What is more disturbing in all this scenario is that Adams Oshiomhole came to Uromi and told the people that he will allow the duly elected candidates to be declared and supported in the discharge of their functions as local government officials. Recent actions seem to attest to earlier insinuations that Adams Oshiomhole is a man with ‘double tongue’ and chameleonic in this conduct.
Following from the above and considering the reaction of the PDP leaders in Edo State, it is safe to support the comments of Mr. Oboh who the Governor Adams Oshiomhole inaugurated as Council Chairman that “forces of darkness can only suppress light for a short time” bearing in mind the soul-searching submission of Uthman Dan Fodio that “conscience is an open wound” and that “only the truth can heal it”. The deployment of Policemen to take over Uromi to pave way for Mr. Oboh and his Councilors to assume duty has made the whole episode more revealing against the backdrop of the Governor’s huge but unfounded allegation that the Nigeria Police aided electoral malpractices at the election.