By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”THE stage is set for another political battle between Governor Adams Oshiomholeâ€™s Action Congress, AC, and Chief Tony Anenihâ€™s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will on Saturday, conduct a bye-election into the state House of Assembly, for the Ovia North East Constituency 1.
The Appeal Court in Benin, had nullified the election held in Oghede Ward in Ovia North East constituency 1 and ordered for a bye-election after it declared that the 14 April 2007 House of Assembly election in the area was marred with violence, declaring therefore that no election was held in the area.
The contest would be between the incumbent Action Congress lawmaker, Bright Osayande and the PDP candidate Osayemwenre Omorogieva.
It would be recalled that the former candidate of the PDP in the April 2007 election, Mr Edoba Aikpitanyi, who initially went to court to contest the victory of the AC candidate, Osayande, had withdrawn his suit and pitched tent with the AC.
His action forced the PDP to anoint a new candidate for this weekend’s election in the person of Omorogieva, the youth leader of Oghede community.
In order to ensure victory for the PDP, the party strategically picked Omorogieva who is from Oghede ward where the election would be conducted.
The ward has 7,000 registered voters and the AC is leading with over four hundred votes.
However, in a statement signed by the Director of Publicity and Strategy of the PDP, Mr Okharedia Ihimekpen, the party alleged that the AC-led government in the state had mobilized thugs to disrupt the election.
It alleged further that â€œAt this meeting held last night at government house, plans had been concluded on how to intimidate and prevent people from voting and carrying out their civic responsibility on the day of the election.â€
But the AC through its spokesman, Retti Uzzi, described the allegation as nonsensical asserting that â€œthe PDP is the only party that is known for violence.
AC is the popular party in the state and there is no way the PDP can win election in the state any more. We have campaigned very vigorously and we are going to win.
The PDP is just making noise so as to give the impression that they are still relevant in the state. But they are dead here