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  • Politics
  • Updated: May 24, 2024

Edo guber: APC, PDP, INEC trade words over incoming CVR

Edo guber: APC, PDP, INEC  trade words over incoming CVR

Ahead of the commencement of Continuous Voters' Registration in Edo State, the All Progressives Congress in the state has called for immediate redeployment of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Head of ICT in Edo, alleging that plans are underway to compromise the process in favour of the People Democratic Party, PDP.

Prince Peter Uwadiae Igbinigie, the Edo State APC Publicity Secretary made the allegation through a Press Statement, made available to journalists in Benin.

Igbinigie alleged that the party got it from a grapevine that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with some officials of INEC in the state and are planning to rig the incoming exercise in favour of the PDP.

Igbinigie alleged: "We have on good authority and from multiple sources that some gullible officials of INEC in most of the 18 local government areas that make up our state, have approached the outgoing Edo State government to provide them with 'logistics' for the CVR

"In anticipation, these unpatriotic INEC officials have promised to allow the PDP unfettered access to INEC data-capturing machines

"It is also in consonance with the all-embracing expectation, that all political actors including political parties are seamlessly expected to operate in an atmosphere devoid of compromise, inducement and other unfavourable antics that shall impugn on the revered integrity of the system."

According to Igbinigie, the APC, consequently, demanded strict compliance with the INEC designated venues for the CVR exercise which he claimed is the Ward Headquarters.

"Complete restriction of transfer of voters from neighbouring states during the CVR exercise.

"We reject the use of Obaseki uniformed thugs such as PUWOV, EDSTMA, State Security Network as security across the State. The Nigeria Police, the Civil Defence Corps and other paramilitary are better for this critical exercise", Igbinigie said.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information and Communication in the state, Hon. Chris Nehikhare, while reacting to the allegations of the APC on behalf of the PDP and Edo State Government, denied the allegations in its entirety and described the opposition party in Edo as a gathering of confused people, who according to him have nothing to offer.

He said: "The allegation they made against INEC is like that of a man who is not prepared to write an exam that has been fixed for a certain date. We are embarrassed that this is the quality of opposition the APC is offering in the state.

"We want to say as a government, we are interested in our people coming out to register during the CVR exercise. That is what the government does. "Also, political parties encourage the people to come out to register because it is the vote of the people that decides who governs them. Edo State Government has nothing to do with the manipulation of the CVR

"When INEC graciously decided to resume registration of voters, we were excited and as a government encouraged our people to come out because we believe that it is when more people register, then the government can be held accountable"

Continuing: "But APC as a party is disgruntled. Firstly, they have nominated a candidate who cannot express himself and they cannot sell to the Edo People.

"They are worried about that and instead of admitting to their failure, they are busy making allegations to an unbiased umpire, which is INEC.

"We are not saying that INEC is totally unbiased but they have a duty to register voters and we will give them whatever support they need", Nehikhare declared.

Contacted through text message, the Edo State INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Timidi Wariowei, in a swift reaction said, "I have forwarded the press briefing to the REC. Thank you."

Reacting on behalf of the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Edo State, the state INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Wariowei described the alleged against the commission as outdated antics, saying that the APC should have brought up their allegations during a recent stakeholders meeting organised by the commission.

He said: "We did stakeholders meeting on May 16. The political parties including PDP and APC were there. The idea behind the meeting is for INEC to tell the parties and the public what we want to do, including the modalities involved.

"In that meeting, if there was any issue, it was for them to bring it up, including the allegation the APC is bringing up now. It would have been treated. Apart from that stakeholders' meeting, we have also held a meeting at the local government level because of the CVR.

"All the parties were there and nobody raised any issues. Now a party will now call a press conference saying things. Our doors are open. It is not good to antagonize the commission when we have not done anything wrong.

"It is not fair and the cation they have taken is old fashioned. This is not the way to go. If anyone has anything to say, he should come to the Resident Electoral Commission. It is wrong to dish out those allegations as we do not have anything to do with them."

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