By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—EDO State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has insisted that the party will not participate in the Edo State local government council elections fixed for 3, March 2018 until the case it instituted before an Edo State High Court challenging the Edo State House of Assembly over issues bordering on electoral laws was determined.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, made the position of the party known yesterday, during the flag-off of PDP’s “Meet the People Tour” to the 18 councils in Igarra and Auchi, headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government and Etsako West Local Government Areas, respectively .
Orbih, who gave reasons for the boycott of the council elections, said the PDP had approached the court, challenging the electoral law as amended by the state House of Assembly .
He said the party was compelled to approach the court as the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, did not comply with the relevant sections of the constitution on electoral matters.
Orbih who condemned the composition of EDSIEC, alleged that registered members of certain political parties made up the electoral body.
He also alleged that the Prof Stanley Orobator led EDSIEC had concluded plans to announce the councils election results before the date of the conduct of the election scheduled for March 3.
He insisted that until the Edo State Government decides to comply with the relevant provision of the Nigerian constitution, the PDP will not participate in what he described as an “illegal process “ to conduct the council elections.
He said, “What we have in place in Edo State is that EDSIEC is not dependable, reliable and not competent to conduct any election in Edo State.”
Llamenting the incessant attacks and killings of Akoko Edo indigenes by rampaging herdsmen, he urged the people to keep faith with the party by encouraging and mobilizing its members and supporters to get registered in the INEC ongoing Continuous Voters Registration, CVR, to enable them vote and bring about positive change.
He sympathised with families and victims of herdsmen attacks in Akoko Edo, saying that the state government has failed the people in the area of security by allegedly giving herdsmen a strong presence in Edo State.
Also, a former Governorship Candidate in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has called on all members of the party who are interested in contesting positions in the council election to be patient and wait for the outcome of the court process instituted by the PDP, challenging the conduct of the council poll.
Ize-Iyamu who sued for peace and reconciliation among members to form a stronger and united front, said the call for patience by aspirants became imperative as the party will be better for it in future elections as he expressed optimism for a positive outcome of the court case instituted, challenging the conduct of the council elections.