By Simon Ebegbulem & Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has rejected the result ofÂ weekend re-run election in Akoko Edo constituency 1, of the state, describing it as a charade.
In a swift reaction,Â Governor Adams Oshiomhole has yesterday faulted the call for the cancellation of the re-run election by by the PDP.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Action Congress (AC’s) candidate in the election, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto, the winner of the election, having scored 5,335 votes against the 3,741 votes polled by the PDP candidate in the area, Mr. Anslem Agbabi.
But addressing newsmen yesterday at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) state secretariat in Benin City, the PDP, led by the leader of the Federal House of Representatives, Col. Tunde Akogun, Senator Yisa Braimoh, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Zakawanu Garuba, Chief Dan Orbih, the party alleged that the election was manipulated by agents of the state government in collaboration with INEC and the police.
On the contrary, Oshiomole said that from the reports he got after the elections, electoral materials were distributed from the INEC office to the properly designated voting centres all over the constituency, adding that voting was conducted freely without any problem, except in Aiyegunle, the home town of the leader of the House of Representatives, Col.Tunde Akogun.
Addressing newsmen at Government House, Benin City, Governor Oshiomhole narrated that the collation was done at Ibillo and result sheets were duly signed by the agents of the political parties.
He asserted that the PDP was calling for the cancellation of the election because â€œ this is a complete departure from the previous practice of election rigging in Akoko Edo in particular, which was confirmed even by the Court of Appealâ€.
Other leaders of the party at the press conference included the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Mr Lucky Imasuen, acting state chairman of the party, Clement Edo-Osagie, Owere Dickson Imasogie (Vice-Chairman Edo South), Paschal Ugbome,(Vice-Chairman Edo North), Chief Okaroro and Chief Nosa Adams.
According to the party, AC imported over 3,000 thugs on the eve of the election, who started shooting indiscriminately to instil fears in people.
It claimed one of the victims of the unfortunate incident was the candidate for the election, Mr Agbabi, whom they riddled his residence with bullets.
â€œThis incident was reported to the DPO at Ibillo, who made on-the-spot assessment visit and recovered several unexpended high caliber ammunitions at the premises.
â€œOn the same day, the thugs also besieged INEC office at Igarra, took over the place and beat up PDP agents that were supposed to be there. On the election day, we informed the REC about the influx of strange faces. The REC addressed the crowd telling them to leave the area.
â€œ True to our prediction and expectations, AC thugs who had already been positioned in all the polling booths, hijacked election materials as soon as they were distributed.
â€œThey also continued the reign of terror by shooting guns, beating up voters and snatching ballot papers with the active and full supervision of the Deputy Governor, Chief of Staff, ADC and othersâ€the party alleged.
PDP stated that â€œ based on the aforementioned anomalies, the PDP in Edo state hereby denounce the drama called election which was manipulated by the state government, aided by the Nigeria Police and the INEC.
â€œTherefore, it is quite clear that Governor Adams Oshiomohle is not an electoral reformer as claimed by him in all his speeches. We reject the result because the election was not democratic.â€