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Edo APC, PDP In War Of Words Over Postponed Poll

The Edo chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it regretted the postponement of the state Governorship election to September 28, from the earlier scheduled to take place on September 10. This is as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo state Friday night described INEC action as lamentable, inexcusable and shameful noting that it shocking that election cannot be held in state like Edo without security challenges.

The APC on it part also dismissed claim by the PDP that the postponement was orchestrated by the APC in connivance with security agents as nonsensical. Barrister Anselm Ojezua, the state chairman of the party, stated this in a press conference in Benin, on Friday. Ojezua who lamented the failure to consult critical stake holders before announcement of the postponement, he regretted the time and resources that have been expanded on electioneering campaign these past weeks.

It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had on Thursday night, yielded to security agencies call for the poll postponement over security threat. The chairman however said infiltration into Edo, militants he alleged have been recruited by the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), call for serious concern.

“First, the shift in the date for the election was announced without due consultation with the critical stakeholders which includes the All Progressives Congress (APC). We believe that the timing and mode of communication by the security agencies could have been better handled having regards to the very hard work and huge resources deployed towards the election by all concerned.

“On our part, we have traversed the nooks and crannies of the State in the course of our electioneering campaigns and we have been able to effectively market our candidates and our manifesto. In that same process our members have been fully sensitized and mobilized in readiness for the election culminating in our final campaign at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on the 6th of September which recorded the highest level of mobilization ever witnessed in that facility.

According to Publicity Secretary of PDP , Chris Nehikhare ‘’We are taken aback by the rash security advice a day after the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, was present at the final campaign rally of the APC in Benin City, which was concluded without any security hitch.’’

The party added that it is on record that INEC recently conducted a hitch free senatorial bye-election in Borno State, a state which had remained a hotbed of terrorism and insurgency, yet the security agencies saw no reason to advise against the conduct of the election.

Describing the INEC’s action as ‘’lamentable, inexcusable and shameful’’, PDP said it is sad to hear from these same security agencies that the Edo governorship election cannot be held in a state without a history of security threat and where in less than 24 hours, the President and all the APC leaders across the country had converged to hold their rally without security concerns.

‘’We are therefore convinced that this phantom security advice is orchestrated in connivance with the APC in the face of imminent defeat in the governorship election’’, the PDP added.

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