PDP, APC trade words over alleged plans to rig Edo poll

Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor
Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is strategising to hoodwink Edo people in the hinterlands and stir confusion in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Special Adviser to Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, told journalists in Benin City yesterday: “We have been receiving calls from supporters of Governor Obaseki in the hinterlands that some members of the APC had been trying to deceive them to vote for the APC in the forthcoming election, by lying to them that Obaseki, who is very popular among them, is still in the APC.

“The candidate of the APC, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his agents think they can manipulate Edo voters by peddling lies. The APC has since conceded to the overwhelming popularity of Obaseki in the streets of Edo and has resorted to underhand tactics; such as they are doing in these communities.”

He called on Edo people, especially those who might be confused about the governor’s political party, to vote for the umbrella on September 19, since Obaseki had since left the APC.

Meanwhile, the APC Media Campaign Council for the Edo election has accused the PDP of colluding with a senior employee of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the election.

APC alleged that Obaseki’s relation had been identified in a plot to trade sensitive inside information on the results collation process with the PDP for unnamed benefits.

It, therefore, called on INEC to strengthen its infrastructure for the election against potential saboteurs.
BUT the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on INEC to demonstrate uncommon courage, integrity, honesty, fairness and unfeigned commitment in the conduct of the election.

The Christian body urged INEC to ensure a successful election in the overall interest of Edo people and the nation.

Addressing journalists in Benin City yesterday, the Chairman of CAN, Edo chapter, Bishop Oyonnude Kure, called on all religious leaders and heads of blocs to warn their members against the use of violence in promoting their candidates.

“CAN frowns, with all sense of responsibility, upon every form of malpractice in the September 19 governorship election in the state,” Kure said.

He urged Christians in the state to vote for the candidate of their choice and maintain peace before, during and after the election.

According to him, the election has become a source of worry to the body of Christ representing and protecting the interest and wellbeing of Christians in the state.

“CAN believes that political campaigns should provide a veritable and an enabling opportunity for candidates to market their manifestoes to the electorate and explain their programmes to them.

“The life of every resident of Edo is very precious in the sight of God. The campaigns should not in any way create acrimony between contesting candidates and their followers. Hate speech should be avoided. In an atmosphere of peace, the electorate will be free to go and cast their vote,” the cleric added.

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