Oshiomhole tasks INEC on Edo guber polls
Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole yesterday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a credible governorship election is held in the state.
He stated this when he received the new Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Olumekun who was on a courtesy call in his office where he listed the guidelines and the timetable for the governorship election holding in the State on September 10, this year.
He said party primaries would hold fromJune 2 to the July 4 2016; campaigns will commence on Sunday 10th June 2016, while the official register of voters for the election will be published on the 11 of August 2016. The election proper will take place on the 10th of September.
Oshiomhole on his part said: “I am a believer as some of your officers on ground may have briefed you. I am a believer and a preacher of one-man one vote because for too long the promise of democracy was compromised in our country and my campaign mantra was that you must fight election fraud, not because of me but because of our country. It was clear to me that unless you have an accountable government, poverty will remain endemic and society will remain unsafe. But I am happy that several years down the line, we have played our part and contributed our quota in the struggle to entrench real democracy and uphold one-man one vote. And I am happy you said this: the people must take ownership of this process, not as distant miserable spectators, but as active drivers and participants of the democratic process of which INEC has an extremely critical role to play, like the role of a referee.
“So, your task will be to clean up even your INEC office, and we are going to be very frank about it. It’s good that you have pointed out what government should do, what the police should do, but I also need to suggest to you what you have to do so that those people who are still in your office who are corrupt, who aid electoral fraud that they are eliminated from the process. In line with my own tradition, there is no need to cover up what needs to be exposed because transparency is important if we are going to sustain a full-fledged democracy, I don’t think that we should continue with this primitive tradition.”
Oshiomhole said “I assure you whatever we can do to encourage the police and other security people to provide security, certainly we will do, but a lot, and I emphasize a lot rests with INEC.”
Speaking earlier, Olumekun said, he and his team were in the state for a serious business. “As you are aware that because of Schedule 25 of the Electoral Act, we are supposed to conduct an election not earlier than 150 days before the expiration of the term of an incumbent governor, and not later than 30 days before his tenure expires. So, later this year, INEC plans to conduct a governorship election in Edo State.
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