Friday, September 30, 2016

#EdoDecides PDP Protests APC Victory in Governorship Election

PDP protests as INEC declares APC winner of Edo election 
Edo State Governor-elect Godwin Obaseki (middle) after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him as the winner of the election in Benin City…yesterday.

After hours of collating results, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki, as the winner of the keenly contested Edo State governorship election.

At 3:53 p.m., the returning officer for the election and Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun announced that Obaseki polled 319,483 votes to defeat his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 253,173 votes. The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Osaro Onaiwu scored 876 votes while Labour Party (LP) came third with 182 votes. But the PDP agent refused to sign the results sheet, the party having earlier at a press conference while collation was going on rejected the results, alleging that they were not a true reflection of the exercise. Altogether, 19 political parties participated in the election. Soremekun said there was a total of 1,900.223 registered voters in the state, out of which 622,039 were accredited for the exercise. Altogether, 613,244 persons cast their votes out of which 582,299 were declared valid and 30,945 were rejected. INEC said Obaseki won in 13 of the 18 local government areas while Ize-Iyamu won in five local governments.

The announcement elicited mixed reactions from the supporters of the various political parties. There was wild jubilation among staff and members of the Godwin Obaseki Organisation. Party leaders and supporters defied the rain to go to the streets for celebration.

But it was protest in the PDP camp. Some protesters who claimed to be members of civil society groups protested in front of the INEC office in Benin but were later dispersed by security personnel. The state chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, said the party rejected the results because they were skewed in favour of the APC, in connivance with INEC and the security agencies. Orbih alleged that the results were manipulated at the INEC state headquarters. “INEC started the process of announcing the results and at a point, they suspended the announcement yesterday and promised to continue today. From the time we started getting feedback from our agents and independent observers, we had been taking out time to look at the results side by side with what INEC had so far announced to the people. We observed that there was a difference between the figures from our party agents and the independent observers, and what INEC was announcing at their headquarters in Benin City.”

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