By Ozioruva Aliu, BENIN CITY
THE Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), has released the results of the local government council election conducted on Saturday where it said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won all the chairmanship positions in the 18 Local Government Areas that make up the state.
But the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) have declared the exercise as a charade.
The returning officers from the 18 local government areas took their turns to announce the results at the EDSIEC headquarters along Airport Road in Benin City and their
documents were received by the chairman of EDSIEC, Justice James Oyomere (rtd) who eventually officially announced the 18 winners and said the returning officers and their ad-hoc staff performed well in the conduct of the election
The State chairman of the APC, David Imuse, who spoke on the phone from Ekpoma, described the elections as a scam saying “This election is a scam, it is a charade. They brought insufficient ballot papers but no single result sheet. How can you conduct an election when there is no result sheet?”
Similarly, a chieftain of the LP, Dr. Kingsley Okunday, in a statement on Sunday described the exercise as a sham and rape of democracy.
He said it was unfortunate that in this time and era in Nigeria’s existence, an important election as relevant as the local government which is closest to the grassroots is still being conducted in such an uncivilised and barbaric way.
He called on EDSIEC to “review the election process and cancel the election because it was obvious in the public domain that the exercise was characterised by fraud, electoral malpractices and as such was not free and fair.
“It is a known fact that members of the ruling PDP allegedly backed by external forces freely used dangerous weapons to scare Labour Party members from the field, carted away voting materials in some areas and wrote results in some others.
“This again proved that the Labour Party has become a thorn in the flesh of other parties hence they are using all undemocratic means to deny the party victory as replicated in the Edo state government masterminded local government election”
He however called on the LP members not to take laws into theirs but remain calm as the democratic civilization of the party can’t be compared with the thuggery approach of the PDP.
Meanwhile, EDSIEC’s image maker, Albert Eguaoje, has confirmed that the Commission would present certificates of return to the victorious candidates later on Sunday.