As the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC prepares for the gubernatorial
elections in both Edo and Ondo State, OKECHUKWU JOMBO writes that it’s a two party affair


With the Independent
National Electoral
Commission, INEC, fixing
the Edo and Ondo States
governorship elections for
September 10 and November
26 respectively all is now set
for a political show down in
those two states.
The battle as always will
be between candidates of
the Peoples Democratic Part
PDP and The All Progressives
Congress, APC. However,
over 21 political parties will be
Though they have not yet
made nominations it is now
pertinent to do so and all of the
two parties have commenced
moves for the exercise.
All Progressives Congress,
APC, have slated March 2016,
for the primaries. The party
said that it would adhere to the
2014 delegates list, even as it
assured party faithful that the
conduct of the exercise would
be transparent, free and fair.
State Publicity Secretary
of the party in Edo State,
Mr Godwin Erhahon, in a
statement in Benin, said that
the National Chairman of
the party, Chief John Odigie-
Oyegun, had already assured
that the list of delegates elected
at the 2014 congress remains
intact and sacrosanct.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday
gathered that the leadership
of the party in Edo State had
been in Abuja in the last one
week trying to impress on
the national leaders of the
party why the 2014 delegates
list should be altered. It was
however, learned that the
national leadership of the party
refused to shift grounds on the
Erhahon’s clarification was
sequel to allegations that
attempts were being made
by some officials of the party
in the state to alter the 2014
delegates list to accommodate
those not qualified for the
delegate conference.
A chieftain of the party
alleged that a particular party
member from Oredo Local
Government Area of the state,
was busy suspending and
removing members of the party
and substituting the names of
those who were dead with a
view of supporting a particular
governorship aspirant to
emerge as the party’s flag
However, Erhahon explained,
“All elected delegates who are
still members of the party will
be the voters at the primaries.
Those who are no more in APC
either due to death or due to
defection cannot be replaced
until after the primaries.
“This reassurance has
become necessary to douse
tension over rumours, boasts
or threats from various
quarters that attempts are
being made by some persons
to alter the list of delegates. All
governorship aspirants and
their promoters are advised to
humble themselves to existing
party leadership including the
delegates rather than sponsor
suspension of party officials
or replacement of delegates,
which can only backfire on
them in the end.
“Edo State leadership of APC
will not tolerate any attempt
to discredit the national
leadership of the party, which
is the maker and custodian of
the list of delegates,” the source
PDP on its own through its
National Working Committee,
NWC has approved March
14 for conduct of the party’s
congress in Edo State.
Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP
National Publicity Secretary,
said in a statement in Abuja
that the NWC also approved
the conduct of other congresses
in the state.
“Ward congress in the
state holds on March 5, local
government congress holds
on March 10, while the state
congress is scheduled for
March 14, 2016.
“The congresses will be
conducted by congress
committees from the National
Secretariat in Abuja because
the state executive of the party
has since expired.”
It advised all members of the
party in Edo to be guided by
this statement.
Similarly, national leadership
of PDP in another statement
approved the appointment
of Mr Inuwa Bwala as the
Special Assistant (Media) to
the National Chairman of PDP,
Sen. Ali Modu-Sheriff.
The statement, signed by
Prof. Adewale Oladipo, PDP
National Secretary, said the
appointment of Mr Shettima
Shehu as the Special Assistant
to the National Chairman
on Special Duties was also
It said that the appointments
took immediate effect.
The two states are
currently held by both parties
respectively Edo State by
Adams Oshiomole of APC
and Ondo by Segun Mimiko of
INEC through its Deputy
Director of Publicity and Voter
Education, Nick Dazang, made
the disclosure.
Dazang said the timetable
for the elections would soon be
made public.
“When the timetable for
the elections is out, we will
commence the processes for
budgeting and implementation
for the elections,” Dazang said.
Commenting on the conduct
of the re-run elections so far,
Dazang said the exercises had
been successful and peaceful
except in Kogi Central and Imo
State where little challenges
were witnessed.
He said, “The re-run
elections we have had from
January 27 have been peaceful
except that challenge we had
in Kogi.
“Otherwise, generally it has
been peaceful.
“Those of Gombe,
Adamawa, Taraba and Niger
States were peaceful.
“The only place we had
challenges was Kogi Central
– Adavi Local Government,
where our office was burnt
down before the election.
“Fortunately, that did not
affect the election in the area
because by that time we
had not taken the sensitive
materials to the office.
“In one of the wards in the
same senatorial district, some
hoodlums confiscated the
result sheet and tore it.
“That was why as at that
time we were unable to make
a return of the election.
“But fortunately, we fell
back on the duplicates.
“Based on that, we were able
to declare a winner.”
Dazang said in Imo State,
the commission suspended
elections into one senatorial
and three state House of
Assembly seats, based on
security advice.
He said people in the
state were demonstrating
and making all sorts of
allegations against INEC
staff but investigation by the
commission revealed that the
allegations were baseless.
He said, “They just wanted
to make use of that to stop the
“So they started
demonstrating, given that the
commission suspended the
re-run election in the state
indefinitely, based on advice
from the security agencies.”
Dazang added that the
commission was preparing
to conduct the remaining
elections in other states in a
free, fair and credible manner.
He said, “The major one
will be that of Rivers, on
March 19, where we have
three senatorial districts, one
Federal Constituency and
House of Assembly elections.
“Already the commission
has identified electoral officers
that are going to conduct
the elections and they have
reported at the state capital,
Port-Harcourt, for training.”
Dazang said after their
training, the personnel would
train other workers that would
be participating in the conduct
of the elections in the state.
He urged all stakeholders
to collaborate with the
commission in ensuring the
elections were peaceful

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