Edo PDP Cautions EDSIEC on Free, Fair Election

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By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin city
The Edo State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, on Monday expressed doubt on the possibility of Edo State Independent Electoral Commission(EDSIEC) to conduct a free, fair and credible local government election following the inclusion of an alleged card carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress as a member of the commission.
The PDP, through its state secretary, Felix Imoisil made the observation on the occasion of the meeting with chairmen and secretaries of registered political parties by EDSIEC in Benin City.
He said the nomination of Mr. Emmanuel Ehiabhi who was a former member of the PDP before recently defecting to the APC as a member of EDSIEC, is clear indication that there can never be fairness in the forthcoming local government election in the state.
“The issue that I raised is that a member of the commission is my own brother. He is a major political combatant in Igueben Local government.
“I was talking about Emmanuel Ehiabhi. I said it will not be fair. He was a member of our party but today, is a member of the commission.
“I heard he has left our party to APC and they just nominated him to be member of the EDSIEC and that is not fair.
“You are talking of equity and how do we get justice in such an environment?”, he asked.
Corroborating the PDP state secretary’s position, chairman, Green Party of Nigeria, GPN, Mr. Roy Oribhabor said for EDSIEC to get it right, the members of the commission must be neutral and must not be members of any political parties.
Responding, chairman, EDSIEC, Prof. Stanley Orobaton, assured that he would look into the allegation raised and that such would not be ignored.
“You mentioned about a colleague of mine who is here. All I will say is that this is noted. We will not push aside your observation”, he said.
Prof. Orobaton however promised to provide a level playing field for all political parties in the while urging to play by the rules of the game.
“I want to assure you that we have made up our minds of giving you what you worked for. I have thrown the ball at your court, do your own work, work well, do not trade on violence. That is it. Educate them and let them vote correctly. Whatever you voted will be so recorded.
“I am not saying you should be violence in Election Day, play your part and we will play ours. If you steal, smuggle, snatch election boxes, and expect that you will come to the commission and say you have get your pass, no way, it will not happen. If there is anything like that, it will be declared null and void.
“I want to assure one thing, we all have a stake in our respective lifestyle. I have been on the row and I cannot fail now”, he said.
He further called on those who are calling for the shifting of the election to accept the date.
“I do not think it will be right at this point to suggest a shift. The period of election has been in the air even since last year. The anxiety of the political class, the stakeholders they have been heating the politics. This dating is just to fulfill the general wish of the electorate”, he said.

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