The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Edo State,Pastor OsagieIze-Iyamu, yesterday urged all eligible voters across the state to be calm and lawabiding, even as he assured them that their votes will count and be protected, on the September 28 2016 new date for the state governorship election.
He said on his part and the part of the PDP, they have resolved to be law-abiding and to cooperate with necessary authorities to ensure a hitch free, free and fair election, which is the prayer of all Edo people.
Speaking on a webcast and newsmen in Benin City, he said, “we were also bothered about the shift in the date for the election, because we were not consulted; all we heard was a shift in date. We are still in the dark about the real reasons for postponing the elections”.
Ize-Iyamu who said the new date was deliberately chosen to disenfranchise many in Edo south senatorial district which is his strong base, added that many will still be busy observing the activities tied to the coronation of the Oba of Benin which is on the 26th of September 2016.
He said, “Clearly there is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise people of Edo south, where Pastor OsagieIze-Iyamu is very strong. The date was deliberately fixed to ensure that Edo south people are distracted and torn between tradition and the political process”.
On the safety of the sensitive materials which are reportedly already in the state, he said, he is hopeful that officials of the CBN where they are being kept and the Independent National Electoral Commission will not compromise them.
He added that as it stands there is nothing the PDP can do besides hoping and praying that the right thing is done, adding that for the party agents they have been educated to report if things are going wrong such as if materials are not evenly distributed and items like result sheets are absent.
“We are going to ensure that our people are very vigilant so they do not get compromised. But there are certain things such as anybody seen to be trying to use money should be stopped and voters must have enough privacy to vote”.
According to Pastor Ize-Iyamu though there are reports of plans to write results no matter what figures come from the polling units, the fact remains that , “party agents should not be allowed to see how voters vote; there should be safe distance. Illiterate voters should be assisted only by relatives and not party agents”.
Expressing confidence in the Nigerian project, the capacity of the electoral umpire, INEC to deliver on a credible, free and fair elections in Edo state, he said he has faith that security agencies will be at their best to guarantee this on September 28, 2016.