Edo Elections Will Hold Despite Threats of Violence – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that the September Governorship election in Edo State will hold despite the threats of violence by the major political parties involved in the contest.
INEC says it hopes to achieve this by having the 14 political parties taking part in the governorship election sign a peace accord in the next few days. According to the Commission, the election will be peaceful with such an action taken by all concerned parties.
The stand of INEC was made known by the Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi during a webinar on the upcoming elections in Ondo and Edo States. He stated that all the necessary logistics have been put in place by the Commission for the conduct of both elections.
The INEC Chief said;
“As we approach the Edo governorship election, it is clear that the people of the state and Nigerians as a whole are very concerned about what will happen on election day. We have all been hearing the loud drumbeats of war from political actors. There have been accusations and counter accusations. Just like everybody else, the commission is deeply concerned.
“On proactive measures taken by the commission to address security concerns, consultations with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on election security are on-going. About two weeks ago, the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu led a delegation to meet with the Oba of Benin to ask him to intervene and appeal to political actors to allow a peaceful election.
“The respected monarch promised to invite them to his palace for interaction and he has already done so. Plans have also been concluded for all the 14 political parties participating in the election to sign a peace accord in the coming days. With all these efforts, it is our hope that the election will be held peacefully.”
The main contestants in the Governorship race, the candidates for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have accused each other of arming thugs and planning to unleash violence during the polls.