April 13, 2024

Edo LGA Election: A Show of Shameful Selection – Civil Society Organisation

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By Reporter

The Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) has condemned the conduct of September 2, 2023 local government Election in the state, concluding that the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), further showed, that indeed many politicians and their service agents do not mean well for the betterment of the average Edolite as the election was a show of shameful selection.

EDOCSO said expressed their observations on the election and the spate of killings in the state at a press conference in Benin City.

“We welcome all the ever steadfast comrades, citizens of our great nation and residents of Edo states, members of the press and distinguished ladies and gentlemen to this press conference.

“The Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) having observed and analysed carefully the outcome of the Edo 2023 local government council elections held on the 2nd of September 2023, we have come to the conclusion that it fails to meet up with the expectation, confidence and credibility we assumed of the umpire, Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) and the Obaseki led government of Edo State.

“Prior to the build up process to the election, based on all the promises made to Edo voters and political stakeholders on requirements for evaluating the credibility of the elections, wherein EDSIEC assured of the reliability of all voting materials, and transparency of the process.

“However, contrary to the above expectations, the Edo 2023 LGC elections were marred with very shabby organization, logistics and operational failures here and there, failure in electoral transparency, cases of violence in some areas where there were materials and seemingly keen contests between parties.

“Furthermore, we received credible reports from our members who were voters from the different polling units around the 18 LGAs which gave credence to our assertion of the shambolic elections.”

The Civil Society Group expressed deep disappointment in the conduct of the election, and submitted that processes deliberately ignored the electoral law. They adjudged it as not transparent, credible nor fair. The entire exercise according to EDOCSO was like a family affair which makes it look a selection and nor election.

“We want to express our deep disappointment in the local government  elections held by Edo State Independent Electoral Commission on the 2nd of September 2023, as we adjudge it not to be transparent, credible and fair, even to the process of the declaration of the winners where some sections of the electoral law were obviously and deliberately ignored making same look like a one party or family affairs, thereby making it appear like a selection of sort and not an election.

“The above actions of the Edo electoral umpire further showed to us that indeed many politicians and their service agents do not mean well for the betterment of the average Edolite as the election was a show of shameful selection.

“On post elections, we observed series and pockets of dissatisfaction, misgivings and unacceptance of the results and winners declared by EDSIEC which gave birth to unhealthy utterances by politicians to the extent that some unscrupulous individuals using a photograph of one of our meetings years ago being attached to a shameful post to adjudge the election credible.

“Using a photograph of Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) meeting in support of a political publication giving credence to the transparency of a shambolic election is tantamount to impersonation and deserves to be investigated by law enforcement agencies to serve as deterrent to others. The general public should take note that the referenced publication never emanated from us.

“As a group, we try as much as possible to maintain our apolitical status at all times. Therefore, we can’t be used by politicians to achieve their selfish interest.

“Very credible report has it that some avaricious self styled ‘activist’ named Roy Oribhabor was  contracted by politicians to embark on such disgraceful voyage in Edo State.

“We want to use this medium to warn the unscrupulous elements to steer clear from using our name (EDOCSO) or any materials concerning us for any activities without approval from its leadership or they will be seriously dealt with legally. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

Going forward, EDOSCO is demanding for apology from Edo State Government and EDSIEC for the national embarrasement the body brought on Edo State.

“The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission should apologize to Nigerians and Edolites in particular for the national embarrassment in the name of election that fall short of their promises during the pre-election process, as this was one election that Edolites came out in their numbers to exercise their franchise out of trust for the assurances of the Edo State Government and EDSIEC which came out with disappointment from EDSIEC, for not providing materials and officials in over 70% polling units of the almost 5000 polling units in Edo state, and going ahead to announce winners.”

Worried by the outcome of the election, the group has advised the state government to appoint Caretaker Committee Chairmen or whatever they choose to call them for Local Government Councils rather than waste time of voters and resources on shoddy election.

They have also called on the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act, in order to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), take over local councils election in states.

“We want to say to Edo State government and politicians that going forward in LGC’s elections, if they are not ready to run a free and fair elections, it’s better for them to appoint their illegal Caretaker Committee chairman or whatever title they choose to call them for Local Government Councils instead of wasting the precious time of voters on election day and of course our little l resources on a charade called election.

“That the national assembly should as a matter of public urgency, quickly amend the electoral act to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the power to conduct Local Government Council elections in states, even though their own credibility is shaking too, it will still be better than what we get from state’s electoral umpire.”

EDOCSO also called for a halt to the ongoing cult killings in the state. “We want to use this opportunity beg and call on all those involved in this killing of our young ones in the guise of cult supremacy to stop it now, and to realize that they are wasting dreams that are yet to be tapped into, supposed future leaders as this is not an ideal action expected of us as young people. We are saying today, let’s stop the colour war; Let’s stop the bloodbath in Edo; Let’s join to fight our common evil ‘Bad governance and politicians’, not killing ourselves…

“We want to also call on the Nigeria police, Edo state command, led by CP Dankwara, to let the officers know that the raiding going on in Edo now against the cultists is supported by us, however, they should not use it as an opportunity to milk innocent Edolites whom they know are not involved in CULTISM and still collect money from them, we expect that the patrol and raiding will be done professionally to clean and fish out this unscrupulous elements who don’t want us all to have peace in the name of cultism.”

The statement was jointly signed by Leftist Austin Enabulele, Interim TEC Chairman, Leftist Grace  Okike, Interim TEC Secretary, Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO)

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