The Independent National Electoral Commission has decided to go ahead with governorship election slated for Saturday in Edo State, casting aside security concerns.
This was disclosed to PREMIUM TIMES by INEC Director of Publicity and Voters’ Education, Oluwole Ozzi, Thursday afternoon.
“We are going with the election,” Mr. Oluwole said in a short message to this newspaper.
The police and the State Security Service, on Wednesday, released a joint statement, seeking postponement of the election for security concerns.
“The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services wish to inform the general public that credible intelligence availed the agencies indicate plans by insurgent/extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September, 2016. Edo State, is amongst the States being earmarked for these planned attacks by the extremist elements.
“It is in regard of these that 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 terrorist threats,” said the Police and the SSS through a statement by their respective spokespersons, Don Awunah and Garba Abdullahi.
After the security concerns were raised, Mr. Oluwole told this newspaper the commission would consult stakeholders to decide on the appeal by the two security establishments.
The Peoples Democratic Party condemned the request for postponement, saying it was bizzare and shocking.
The Edo election is expected to be strongly fought between the candidate of the incumbent governing All Progressives Congress, Godwin Obaseki, and his PDP challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.