The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday suspended a new round of voters’ registration in Edo state ahead of the July 14 governorship election in the state.
The Chairman of the electoral body, Attahiru Jega, made the announcement in Abuja after hours of meeting with representatives of the political parties taking part in the election.
Preparations for the elections have heightened tension in the state with governing party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), accusing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of planning massive rigging with the connivance of INEC. Pre-elections feud have also intensified between the two parties.
The ACN, led by the governor, Adams Oshiomole, staged a protest to the INEC office in Benin on Monday, calling for the suspension of the new registration.
Mr. Oshiomole said the state, with only 150 polling stations, had been flooded with 472 Direct Data capturing machines, with the excess intended for use by the PDP to rig the election.
INEC said on Wednesday it had received similar complaints from other parties in addition to security fears after the killing of Mr. Oshiomole’s aide early May.
Friday’s meeting was to help resolve the issues, the commission had said.
After four hours of meeting with parties’ representatives, Mr. Jega said all interest groups agreed to suspend the registration, while the existing register will be used instead for the election in July.
“This is done in the interest of the credibility of the election,” Mr. Jega said.