- Category: Politics
- Published on Sunday, 15 July 2012 07:25
- Written by Admin
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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State is on course for a second term in office after brushing aside, with relative ease yesterday, the challenge posed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) in the governorship election.
Airhiavbere appeared to have lost not only overall, he was trounced in his senatorial district of Edo South - where Oshiomhole got a total of 1230 votes as against the paltry 158 for the retired army officer in results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for one of the polling units.
As at midnight, the PDP appeared to be doing well in two local governments in Edo Central senatorial district – namely Esan North East and Esan West – where the party was trailing slightly behind the ACN. Emerging trends point to a close finish in tne two areas.
In two of the local governments where INEC had declared official results, ACN coasted home to victory with huge margins. In Egor LGA, the party recorded 50,794 votes as against, 3,536 for PDP and 282 votes for the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in figures certified by the collation officer, Dr. Tony Monye-Emina.
Similarly, in Etsako Central LGA, Oshiomhole’s ACN polled in 16,834 votes compared to the PDP’s 5,113 and 42 votes for ANPP in results announced by the Collation Officer, Prof. Mike Orherua.
The pattern was the same in the 14 other local governments namely – Akoko Edo, Esan Central, Esan South-East, Etsako East, Etsako West, Igueben, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Orhiomwon, Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West, Owan East, Owan West and Uhunwode.
Airhiavbere’s main backers - Chief TonyAnenih, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe (Chief of Staff to the President), and Chief Gabriel Igbinedion - fared no better in their hitherto secured backyards. They could not deliver their wards.
Early results from polling units and wards across the state showed that Governor Oshiomhole was leading with a wide margin while heavyweights of the PDP were losing in their strongholds.
PDP’s Airhiavbere lost in the polling unit where he voted. He got 38 in the polling unit and 158 in the entire Oredo Ward One, while Oshiomhole scored 355 in the same polling unit and 1230 in Oredo Ward One.
In the unit where the campaign financier of the PDP, Captain Hosa Okubo voted, the PDP scored 133 as against ACN’s 106.
Father of former Governor of Edo State, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin voted at polling unit 1 in Ward 2 in Oredo but the PDP could only muster 36 votes in units 1 and 2while the ACN got 319.
Some other results are: Oredo Ward 2, Unit 28- ACN 220, PDP 43; Unit 4- ACN 107, PDP 19;Unit 23 -ACN 96, PDP 17; Unit 19- ACN 189, PDP 23; Unit 15- ACN 136 , PDP 23;Ward12, Oredo Units 1- 10- ACN 1446, PDP 217.
Reports from Uromi, home town of Chief Anenih said the PDP performed woefully there. A PDP stalwart was almost lynched by angry voters at former George Idah Primary School, Oredo 2 for allegedly smuggling into the area a stuffed ballot box.
The ACN also did well in Uselu Ward 1, Unit 10, in Egor Local Government Area (LGA), polling 65 votes as against PDP’s 6.
In EtsakoEast LGA, ACN polled 400 votes in Unit 01, Ward 10, while PDP got 29. In Unit 02, ACN polled 358 votes as against PDP’s 45. In Unit 03, ACN got 381, trailed by PDP, which 14.
In Unit04, ACN polled 98 votes as against PDP’s 12. In Unit 05, ACN won with 394 votes as against PDP’s 24.
In Unit06, ACN scored 197; PDP got 11 votes. In Unit 07, ACN scored 157 while PDP got20. In Unit 08, ACN scored 392 votes while PDP got 24.
Despite initial problems of late accreditation and delayed arrival of electoral materials at polling stations, voting was peaceful in most parts of the state.
Reports of an alleged plot by the PDP to rig the election forced Governor Oshiomhole to rush to Benin after voting in his village, Iyamho, to see things for himself. A fuming Oshiomhole told journalists: “attempt to declare fake results will be the beginning of the end.”
He said he had received reports that thumb-printing was going on in the house of a PDP leader. The governor said he had reported the matter to the relevant security agencies. He said voting materials were taken to Oredo at late hours to prevent people from voting and for thumb-printing to take place in the dark.
Governor Oshiomhole said the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega refused to display the voters register for security reasons.
His words: “It remains an embarrassment. They were prepared for the fraud. INEC has been the weak link in the democratic process. They want to bring those thumb printed materials. Prof. Jega has made no difference.
“This is just one state election and INEC is wobbling. It is shameful. In a polling unit where you have 500 voters, only 10persons were accredited.”
“Jega who is the INEC boss has messed up the system. Materials were never distributed timely to all the local governments and the polling areas. There shall be massive disenfranchisement of the electorate in Edo State which is against the will of the people. We need things in Nigeria to be done rightly and timely to move the country forward. This may not be the best we are expecting. I will rather die than see the country move backward in corruption and non-development. I am in the election to win and promote development not to promote rigging and corruption and go to court.
“Prof. Jega has planned to delay voting of voters and eliminating some names in the voters register by deleting some through scientific rigging and manipulation. My assessment is that there will be a high turnout in the election of the electorate but low voting is anticipated. In Oredo, there are reports of none electoral materials.
“Jega best is not good for Nigeria. It is alleged that fake results sheets were found in four local governments in the state. This is a calculated attempt to rig the election in the state by INEC and PDP.”
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Edo State, Kassim Gaidam, said the election would not be manipulated.
He spoke at the Garrick Memorial Primary School in Benin, where he went to look into complaints that names were missing from the register during voting.
Gaidam said having had a distinguished career in the public service for 35 years, including a period as local government chairman and as Attorney-General of Yobe State, he was not a hungry man to be used by anybody.
The Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, who voted at 12.49pm at the Staff Training Centre, Ward 12, GRA, Benin expressed “satisfaction” with the exercise.
Additional information from The Nation