Friday, 30 September 2016

Protest erupts in Edo as as Obaseki emerges Edo Gov-Elect

Protest - PDP rejects results as APC emerges Winner
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the September 28 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu,
yesterday rejected the results of the election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The party loyalists stormed the headquarters of INEC to protest the outcome of the poll. The protesters, who were angered by the results turned in from the various polling centres in parts of the state on Wednesday, chanted anti- APC slogans and called the state government unprintable names. They also resisted initial attempts by security agents to disperse them from the Aduwawa-Benin- Auchi expressway office of INEC. The party described the result as rape of democracy. According to the protesters, the PDP won the election in all the 18 council areas of the state.

They alleged that the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, allegedly stormed INEC at the wee hours of yesterday to induce the electoral body to change the figures. Some of the placards read: “INEC took bribe from APC, PDP won the 2016 election,” “INEC give us our actual results,” “INEC give PDP their true result’, amongst others.” One of the protesters, Mrs. Lindsay Tes Sorae, from Ovia North East council area, said the people would not accept the result.

Also, Princess Eba from Ikpoba-Okha council area told journalists that they were already in high spirit earlier this morning, noting that their hopes were dashed as the results were being announced from the various council areas. As at the time of filing this report, the protesters were still milling around INEC office that was heavily guarded by gun wielding security operatives who demonstrated a very high level of civility while imploring them to remain peaceful. Chairman of PDP in the state, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, who addressed a press conference yesterday, said it was “clear that they have totally disregarded the results from the various polling units across the 18 local governments in the state and INEC decided to announce the results, which they wrote even before the elections were held.”

He said the party rejected the results as announced by INEC, pointing out that “even areas we won, they have come out to remove most of the votes on the premise that the card readers did not function in those areas, even when there are incident forms for such challenge.” He added: “Voters should not suffer undue denial as a result of inefficient card readers provided by INEC. “I believe strongly that the incident forms are supposed to address such problems, but in this instance, it is convenient for INEC to cancel the results from all the areas where we won clearly to put it at the doorstep of the card readers.

“We did not provide the card readers they used at the election, they should take full responsibility for those card readers that malfunctioned in the course of the election.” He observed that the results confirmed the position of the party as expressed by the party’s pub- licity secretary 48 hours to the election. “If you put the results together, PDP is clearly ahead of APC in all the 18 local government areas, there is no way we will not win the election with a minimum of 30,000 votes.

“But from what they are announcing at the INEC’s headquarters, it is clear that they have totally disregarded the results from the various polling units across the 18 local governments in the state and they have decided to announce the results which they wrote even before the elections were held.” On his part, Ize-Iyamu said: “For us, we give thanks to God that contrary to the claim of the Edo State governor that PDP brought 8,000 militants, Wednesday’s election has clearly shown that PDP are law abiding people and that it is not engaged in such activity.

” He noted that the delay in announcing the official results by INEC was clearly predetermined, which is to announce fabricated results that are completely at variance with what happened in the units. According to him, the results as announced by INEC did not reflect the huge turnout during the polls.

He added: “The results, because it was predetermined, was written without taking cognisance of where people will come out. “We have told our agents to bring all the results and in three or four days, we will have a complete record of all the results. But like I tell you from our findings, it is clear a lot of manipulations have taken place.”

He alleged that agents of the state government, during the polls, chased away security agencies at George Idah Primary School, ward two, where collation was taking place and went away with collation materials and ward collation results. He said in all this, no one had been declared wanted and that there was so much impunity.

Ize-Iyamu also alleged that agents of the PDP were arrested in Orhiomwon by police for protesting against noticed discrepancies. He alleged that over 300 non-Nigerians were invited to vote in Orhiomwon. Ize-Iyamu noted: “In Abiokola Two in Orhiomwon, everybody saw non- Nigerians, we have also sent the full list. Over 300 non-Nigerian names were put in the register to come and vote in Orhiomwon.”