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Constituency delineation: Oshiomhole wants Senate to reject INEC’s plan

Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has appealed to the Senate to reject the plan of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cede two local government areas, Uhunmwonde and Orhionmwon, from Edo South Senatorial District to Edo Central

The governor, in a letter to the Senate President, yesterday, said “Your gracious intervention is required in the light of plans by INEC to cede two Local Government Areas (Uhunmwonde and Orhionmwon) from Edo South Senatorial District to the Edo Central Senatorial District during the constituency delineation exercise ahead of the 2011 elections.

“The position of the government of Edo State is that INEC’s plans will disarticulate the geo-political stability, which the current arrangement has helped to sustain.

By INEC’s proposal, the Bini-speaking Edo South Senatorial District, which is linguistically and culturally homogenous, would be compelled to lose two critical Local Government Areas to another Senatorial District. The implication of this is that these two Local Government Areas (Uhunmwonde and Orhionmwon) will invariably be marginalised and disempowered in the new Senatorial District. Even for electoral purposes, this is undesirable, unnecessary, unacceptable and patently unjust.”

The governor said the attempt to strip Edo South Senatorial District of the two Local Government areas is “a curious departure from the checklist of homogeneity, historical and cultural affinity as well as geographical contiguity which INEC had initially enunciated as parameters for the delineation exercise.

The impression which INEC’s own criteria has created is that this is an orchestration of a very unsavoury political agenda, which is capable of disrupting the peace, security and stability of our state.”

Meanwhile, the Benin Forum, an umbrella body of all Binis, has described the proposed constituency delineation in Edo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as “irritating, provocative and inciting”.

The forum, set up by the Oba of Benin, led by the Esogban of Benin kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, asserted that the proposal was ill-conceived because it was targeted to move the oil producing local government council of Orhiomnwon to Edo Central so that the Central senatorial district will become an oil producing area.

Edebiri declared that the proposal “ cannot be justified” since the leaders of the Central senatorial district  had earlier rejected the proposal which according to him, “ is capable of plunging the state into political turmoil”.


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