The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released guideline for the Edo State governorship election holding September 10 this year.
INEC officially disclosed the guideline as Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, demanded sack of the commission’s officials implicated in vote fraud in the past.
According to INEC, party primaries will hold from June 2-4 while campaign commences on June 10.
Official register of voters for the election will be published on August 11, the commission said.
The new Resident Electoral Commissioner for Edo State, Sam Olumekun, confirmed the guidelines when he visited Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who urged him to implore INEC to flush out corrupt INEC officials fingered for aiding electoral fraud in the last general election.
Mr. Oshiomhole said, “Allow me, on behalf of the government and the good people of Edo State across all the party divide to welcome you to Edo State and to pray the God almighty to protect you as He has protected your predecessors, guide you, give you wisdom, courage and robust energy to superintend over the preparations and the conduct of the forthcoming election and beyond.
“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 matra 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.”
Speaking earlier, the new REC said, “I want to, through you, assure the entire people of Edo State that we are here for a very serious business in Edo State. INEC plans, 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. I want to use this forum to assure the very good and sophisticated people of Edo State that we shall on our honour do a very thorough job and abide by the very core values of INEC, some of which include transparency, credibility, and fairness.
“We will be very just and we will create a very level playing ground for all and sundry.”