By Omeiza Ajayi
As the nation awaits the declaration of results of Saturday’s Edo state Governorship election, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has counselled its supporters to remain law-abiding, saying it remains extremely confident of winning the election.
“As a law-abiding party comprising individuals with the highest ethical regards for civilised conduct, we in the All Progressives Congress (APC), while remaining extremely confident that we will win this election, have ensured our members refrained from any form of electoral malpractice, political violence, and thuggery, but this has come at a cost”, APC said in a statement by the Chairman of its Edo State Media Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki.
It blamed the pockets of violence witnessed in some areas on the desperation of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to win the election at all costs, citing the violent attack on the wife of the APC chairman in Egor local government area.
Part of the statement reads; “Saturday’s election, as the public may be aware, was marred by gross irregularities occasioned by the sheer desperation of PDP to win at all costs. Cases of shootings, harassments, intimidation of both voters and INEC officials/ad-hoc staff, as well as snatching of ballot boxes characterised by wanton disrespect for all that make an election valuable, featured across the entire 18 councils of Edo State.
“Specifically, in Ovia Southwest, wards 9 and 10, thugs shot and killed an unidentified APC woman; at Tipper Garage in Egor, the wife of the APC party chairman in the council was attacked and lies now in the hospital in very critical condition.
“In Orhionmwon, INEC officials have gone missing – suspected victims of PDP kidnapping. APC chieftains, prior to the election, were kidnapped.
“We want to clarify that the violence superintended and foisted by PDP thugs were intended at disrupting the peaceful election and to snatch ballot boxes, as experienced in places including Owan East Ward 2, Egor Ward 3-5, Owan West 7-8, and Esan South-East Ward 6, all to procure victory at all cost. We are also aware that PDP resorted to manipulation and vote-buying, ballot snatching and stuffing and intimidation of voters, as well as the importation of voters from other states.
“We, however, did not compromise on our principles and have even informed our supporters to refrain from promoting results as collated at polling points/centres or on whatever social media platform. To us, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body constitutionally saddled with the responsibility to make such announcements, and will do so as and when due.
“For now, we urge the public, including members of our great party to remain peaceful, even as they should disregard all results of today’s election which have found their ways into the public domain through various channels endorsed by the PDP and its (un)accredited agents. How else would the ailing party further vent its run of unconstitutional conduct, for which it has earned public renown?
“PDP, even before the election, had concluded plans to cook the election results, reject and blackmail INEC, as well as the security agencies, and consolidate on this game-plan with a protest, all for the sake of faking popularity it lacked and winning at all cost.
“Consequently, we urge the public to be conscious of this PDP scheme and disregard the same, even as they await results from INEC”, APC added.