PDP machinery, government relocate to Edo for historic gubernatorial poll

The entire machinery of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Federal Government appears to have relocated temporarily to Edo State in what promises to be a make or mar contest with the Action Congress of Nigeria in today’s governorship election.

Although the contest, on paper, is billed to be among seven political parties, indications are that the  contest is a straight fight between the ruling ACN and the PDP which is attempting to test its popularity and upstage the incumbent government.Most of the residents who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES in Benin City in the build up to the D-day said they are caught between supporting the PDP candidate, who is being backed by the entire machinery of the federal government, and the ACN’s flagbearer, who is the incumbent governor, and believed to have performed well in the last four years.Both camps are taking the battle to each other, as if their entire life depends on it, and have deployed all resources at their disposal to ensure that victory swings in their favour.As at last night, anybody who is somebody in the PDP apeared to have moved to various parts of the state in a determination to support their candidate achieve victory.Apart from PDP chieftains from Abuja and neighbouring states where the party is in control, some officials from the Presidency have reportedly relocated to the state in their numbers to drum up support for the party’s candidate.The entire state has virtually been taken over by various agencies that has one role or another to play in the election.The Edo state headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is a beehive of activities, as officials finalise preparations for the polls.From the accreditation of the media representatives and hundreds of groups and organisations that are going to be involved in the monitoring of the exercise, to security and  deployment of electoral materials, everything appears set for a historic electoral battle.The unprecedented security presence at various parts of the state is almost suffocating, with armed soldiers, the police, the National Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies joining forces in one of the largest security cordon ever thrown around any state election in recent history.

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