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INEC engages Edo AC, PDP in war of words

BENIN—THE Indepen dent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Edo State, leadership of Action Congress (AC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday engaged in a war of words over the modalities adopted by the commission to conduct the re-run of the House of Assembly’s election in Akoko Edo constituency 1, scheduled for this weekend.

In a stakeholders’ meeting called by the INEC yesterday at Igarra, PDP kicked against the decision of the commission  to move the collation centre from Aiyegunle to Ibillo, while Action Congress said the decision by INEC to adopt the Electoric Voting System was an attempt to rig the election in favour of the PDP.

However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Aniedi Abasi, who presided over the meeting, assured that the commission was set to conduct a free and fair election and urged the politicians to eschew violence.

Speaking on behalf of the AC in the meeting, Jemitola Anene and Segun Ose, said the decision to adopt the e-voting system was “ evil”, as a lot of people who voted during the last general election would be excluded.

Hailing INEC for returning the collation centre to Ibillo, the duo urged the commission  to revert to the manual system which, according to them, would not be confusing to those in the rural areas.

But the PDP, through Owere Dickson Imasogie and Mr Akin Agbaje, though commended  INEC for adopting the e-voting system for the election, faulted the commission for shifting the collation center to Ibillo, saying Aiyegule had been the collation center for several years.

They also raised alarm over the state of insecurity in Akoko Edo and accused the AC of importing thugs to unleash mayhem in the area.

The duo called on the state Commissioner of Police to deploy more policemen to the area, just as they reiterated their resolve for a free and fair election.

Assuaging the concerns of both parties, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Aniedi Abasi, said “we are going to work according to the law. The law says it is e-voting and that is what we are going to use.

“For the collation center, the law says it is Ibillo.  I want to assure that we will conduct a very free and fair election, but please every body must conduct himself properly, we do not want violence”.


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