Apr 26, 2013

Protests in Uromi over non-release of polls results

ACTIVITIES in Uromi, the headquarters of Esan North-East Local Council of Edo State, were grounded since Thursday morning over non-release of results of the rescheduled council election, which held in the area on Wednesday.

Polls results in Esan West, where election held alongside Esan North-East, were declared at about 11.16 p.m. on Wednesday by the Chairman of Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), Solomon Ogor, who said the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Henry Irumudomu, won with 30,911 votes.

According to him, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate got 764 votes, the Labour Party (LP) had 144, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had 133, Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) 63, and Accord Party (AP), 15.

Nevertheless, voting went on smoothly in Oredo and Ikpobha Okha councils for chairmen and councillors.

Accreditation started between 8.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. in all the polling units visited in both councils yesterday.

Meanwhile, a group, Edo is in Safe Hands, Thursday commended the conduct of the local council elections in the state just as it warned that the youths would resist any attempt by the PDP to distract Governor Adams Oshiomhole from his development agenda through “sponsored protests” against the results of the council election.

Addressing newsmen in Benin City yesterday, chairman of the association, Washington Osa-Osifo, said “the people of Edo State should not be hoodwinked into the empty rhetoric of the Chief Dan Orbih-led PDP because they have no idea of what is referred to as a free and fair election.

However, there was massive protest in Uromi yesterday as PDP stalwarts took over the Divisional Police Station, insisting that the results of the chairmanship election in the council be announced before the documents are taken to Benin City.

Armed policemen and army had taken over major roads, removing the blockades mounted by the protesters after dispersing them. In any case, there are indications that the election in Esan North-East may be declared inconclusive as The Guardian learnt that there were two sets of results available from the election.

According to sources, sensitive materials sent to the area were diverted by armed policemen who were used to conducting election in some areas while another set of materials was used by EDSIEC officials in other areas, thereby leading to confusion as to which should be declared.