With barely three days to D- day, confusion seems to rent the air in Benin Edo state capital over the sudden call by stakeholders for the postponement of the governorship election scheduled for Saturday this week, September 10 by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the state.
Though, the various political parties and their governorship candidates were divided over the planned postponement there was confusion as to the clear position of INEC on the contentious matter.
This is as Governor Adams Oshiomhole also Wednesday declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state was “over prepared” for Saturday’s scheduled governorship election.
He also appealed to the INEC not to postpone the “final burial of the PDP for too long.”
Oshiomhole said, “the APC is ready for the election this Saturday and that was why we held our mega rally on Tuesday and after that rally our people across the state became more committed, more dogged and ready for the Saturday election.”
The latest twist had put key officials of INEC at crossroads as the national chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, National Commissioners, the REC in the state, Mr. Sam Olumekun, and others Wednesday entered into hours of last minute deliberations to fine tune strategies for a suitable date for the conduct of the polls.
Meetings are still being held as at the time of sending in this report and critical decisions will be made on the next line of action to be taken.
The Director General of the Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organization, and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Mr. Osarodion Ogie in a reaction to the twist said that both the APC and its candidate are ready and prepared for the scheduled governorship election and that the decision for any form of postponement lies with the INEC.
He said, “We are ready and prepared for the election. We are not in charge of security and also not privy to their intelligence reports” which are issues, which, he said, should prompt the postponement. Ogie stated that “the decision to postpone the election lies with the INEC.”
On his part, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the election, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu said he was of the view that the polls be shifted to allow the students write their exams as it is one of the cardinal programmes in his manifesto to the people of the state.
He said, “I am supporting the call for the postponement of the election because at the stakeholders meeting today (Wednesday), I told them to postpone the election. The students are writing exams because education is one of the solutions to the nation’s problems. We can’t be talking of examinations and deny the students their rights. Now, even if they relocate the students to other areas or states, some of them are eligible voters.