The Edo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Monday said the party will not participate in the Edo State Local Government Council Election following a case instituted by the party to challenge the Edo state House of Assembly (EDHA) over issues bothering on electoral laws.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih made the position of the party known during the Flag off the PDP’s “Meet the People Tour” to the 18 Local Councils in Igarra and Auchi, headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government and Etsako West Government Areas, respectively.
Orbih who gave reasons for the boycott of the council election said the PDP has approached the court to challenge the process on the electoral law as amended by the EDHA.
He said the party was compelled to approach the court as EDSIEC did not comply with the relevant section of the constitution on electoral matters.
Orbih who condemned the membership composition of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) alleged that a team of registered members of certain political parties made up the electoral body.
He also alleged that the Prof Stanley Orobator led EDSIEC have concluded plans to announce the councils election results before the date of the conduct of the election scheduled for 3rd March.
Orbih noted that until the Edo State government decides to comply with the relevant provision of the Nigerian constitution, the PDP will not participate in what he described as an “illegal process” to conduct the council election.
He said, “What we have in place in Edo State is that the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) is not dependable, reliable and not competent to conduct any election in Edo State.”
Orbih while lamenting the incessant attacks and killings of Akoko Edo indigenes by rampaging herdsmen urged the people to keep faith with the party by encouraging and mobilizing its members and supporters to get registered in the INEC ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) to enable them vote and bring about positive change.
He sympathised with families and victims of Herdsmen attacks in Akoko Edo, saying the state government has failed the people in the area of security by allegedly giving herdsmen a strong presence in Edo State.
Also, a former Governorship Candidate in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has called on all members of the party who are interested in contesting positions in the council election to be patient and wait for the outcome of the court process instituted by the PDP to challenge the conduct of the council poll.
Ize-Iyamu who sued for peace and reconciliation among members to form a stronger and united front said the call for patience by aspirants became imperative as the party will be better for it in future election as well as expressed optimism for a positive outcome of the court case instituted to challenge the conduct of the state local government election.
“In 2019, everything will change for the better. As you reconcile, please reorganise and re-dedicate yourselves. We see there is hunger in the land. In our time as the ruling party, we were not hearing of herdsmen killing, raping of your daughters and women as well as destroying your crops and farmlands. We will be victorious and by the grace of God stop the killings.”Ize-Iyamu said.
By Titus Akhigbe, Benin