- Police, DSS ask INEC to postpone election
- We’re still consulting, Commission replies
- PDP kicks
Two days to the gubernatorial election in Edo State, the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, have appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone the polls.
The security agencies cited security threats as reasons for their call for the cancellation of the elections slated for this Saturday.
Addressing a joint press conference at the DSS headquarters in Abuja yesterday, Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, DCP Don Awunah, and his DSS counterpart, Garba Abdullahi, said both agencies had credible intelligence that insurgent/extremist elements were planning an attack on some vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations on Monday and Tuesday next week.
The security spokesmen revealed further that Edo State was among states being earmarked for the planned attacks by the terrorists.
Awunah said, “It is in the regard of these that we we are appealing to INEC, which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo state in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorists’ threats.
“While the police and DSS remain mindful of the inconveniences this request may cause stakeholders, it is our strong resolve that security agencies need not be distracted from ensuring a peaceful Nigeria now and always.”
The security organs, however, assured members of the public that they would continue to remain focused and committed.
“The attention of security agencies should be drawn to any observed unusual movements or actions by groups or individuals in your neighbourhoods,” Awunah appealed.
He recalled that similar threats were issued during the May/Labour/Democracy Days celebrations as well as Ed-el-fitre holidays in July.
“However, the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election os important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to be vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight,” he added.
PDP holds million-man rally in Edo
Edo Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday showed class and its readiness to win Saturday’s governorship election, when it held major streets and the commercial Akpakpava Street, TV Road and Kings Square in Benin City, the state capital, standstill with its one million man match.
The rally, which almost paralysed traffic and other commercial activities and supervised by leaders and members of the Street-to-Street and Door-to-door campaign group of the PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and featured supporters of the PDP, was orderly.
Artisans, students, market women and traders from the busy Agbado market along Akpakpava Road, commuters and motorists joined the train, even as they received assorted flyers of the PDP, including one showing a ballot paper and how they should vote in the election.
The walk kicked off as early as 8am after hundreds of party supporters started gathering from 7am at the Ikpoba slope campaign office of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
Stakeholders began gradually to join the walk at New Lagos, Dawson, Igbesanwan, Bamawo Street junctions along Akpakpava to TV Road, Siluko, Oba market and terminated at Kings Square location of the state House of Assembly.
Speaking to the party supporters at the Kings Square at the end of the walk around 2pm, a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Festus Evea commended the people for their resilience, assuring them that their efforts would not be in vain.
According to him, what the people were doing is to secure their future from an APC state and federal government that has failed in their responsibilities to the people.
“You must know that you are working for your future. When they promised change, we voted for them but now the cost of living has gone up; the price of fuel, kerosene, cement, food items like rice, garri and even salt have all gone out of the reach of the poor. Our people are dying of hunger, but now we are marching to change the change the ‘change.’”
Ebea, who compared the APC to the Biblical Jonah who refused to deliver God’s message to the people of Nineveh, told the people that since the APC had failed in delivering on the mandate that God gave it for Edo Nigerians, it was time to vote the party and its cronies out.
After commending the people for the walk, Ebea assured them that the much needed ‘change the change’ was now here in Edo, advising them that all they needed to do was to grab it though their votes by coming out early for accreditation and voting on Saturday.
He advised the people not to reject any money being offered them by members of the APC, “because it is your money, but collect their money and vote your conscience,” he said.
APC knows it is about to lose Edo governorship election, says PDP
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, says the advice of security agencies to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on postponement of the forthcoming Edo governorship election is an attempt to scuttle the country’s democracy.
The Department of State Service, DSS, and the police had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election, citing security concerns.
But in a statement on Wednesday, Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the party called on PDP members and supporters to remain law-abiding and stay “alert on this calculated attempt at scuttling our hard-earned democracy.”
He accused All Progressives Congress, APC, of seeking postponement of the poll, “having seen the indices of losing the election to the PDP.”
Adeyeye said it was “lamentable” to hear that the security agencies would say that the governorship election could not hold in a state where the president and all the APC leaders and supporters held an uninterrupted rally.
“Our attention has been drawn to the shocking breaking news of the advice by the DSS and the police to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to postpone the Saturday, September 10, 2016, gubernatorial election in Edo State on excuse of insurgency alert,” the statement by Adeyeye read.
“We are taken aback on this advice, coming 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 Mega Rally of his party, the APC in Benin City, which was concluded without any hitch.
“It is on record that INEC recently conducted a hitch-free senatorial by-election in Borno state, which is a high point of insurgency in the country but the security agencies saw no reason to call off the election.
“We are calling on the president, Muhammadu Buhari, to caution the security agencies and direct them to provide full security, and also to desist doing anything that will jeopardise this forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State.
“We are equally counting on INEC not to succumb to this false alarm by acting independently and holding election as scheduled.
“We hope that this advice from the security agencies are not in concert with the APC of having seen the indices of losing the Edo State Gubernatorial Election to the PDP,” the statement posited.