The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Security Agencies for the state’s governorship election to carry out their statutory responsibilities based on their sworn oath of office.
The governorship election is scheduled for Sept. 19.
Dr Tony Aziegbemi, State Chairman of the party, made the demand on Sunday in the weekly media briefing to appraise the party’s campaign activities ahead of the election.
Aziegbemi said that from the just concluded ward-to-ward campaign across the 192 wards in the state, Edo people had clearly shown their preference for the PDP and its candidate, Gov. Godwin Obaseki.
He noted that from multiple opinion polls conducted by independent bodies and organisations, the PDP has the support of 80 per cent of the electorate while all other parties have 20 per cent.
He, therefore, said that flowing from the support the party demands, in the strongest terms possible, that INEC and security agencies carry out their statutory responsibilities based on the oath of office they swore to, which was to be “neutral”.
“Please note that anyone who deprives any human being of exercising his fundamental human rights is just as bad as enslaving or killing him.
“As such, the electorate do not deserve anything less from the law.
“We call on the parents of all the ad hoc staff that will be engaged in this election to call their wards to order.
“Edo people deserve free, fair, credible and peaceful election, and nobody, whether in the security agencies or in INEC should be allowed to subvert the will of the people.
“We will follow the process from A to Z from multiple angles.
“If you are caught doing the wrong thing, be assured that as a party that believes in and promotes the right for people to freely express their choice, we will be waiting and ensuring that law affects the fullest possible punishment,” he said.
The party chairman further said that the party went about its campaigns with peace and love.
He added that unfortunately, miscreants made feeble attempts to disrupt the party’s campaigns.
“We have catalogued the senseless attacks on our party members and their property.
“We challenge the opposition or any other party for that matter, to show such evidence of their members being attacked.
“Gentlemen of the press, it will amaze you to know that not one person has been arrested for these senseless attacks on our members.
“If not for the strong appeal from our Candidate, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, you can imagine what would have become of our state if retaliation was carried out by our members.
“Let me warn thugs that ‘our patience is not elastic.’
“I call on the Commissioner of Police, CP Johnson Kokumo, to rise up to the occasion.
“I call on all other security agencies to step up their efforts before the elections, especially on the day of the election. They should justify the salaries they earn from taxpayers’ money,” Aziegbemi said.
He, however, expressed happiness at the success of the ward-to-ward campaigns by the party.
According to him, we give God Almighty, the omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing God, all the glory and praise for a successful ward-to-ward tour of the state.
“We are indeed humbled by the show of love and support for our candidate. We promise we will not take this for granted.
“We also, with a humble heart, thank our members and indeed Edo people and residents, for trooping out in their hundreds of thousands to catch a glimpse of our candidate and to hear our message,” he added.