Edo Polls 2016 Is Finally Here, Its Apc Versus Pdp
Finally, the long awaited Edo Governorship election 2016 is here.
SAN FRANCISCO, September 27, (THEWILL) – Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party; Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressive Congress (APC); Shedrack Nowamagbe of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and Osaro Onaiwu of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) are gunning to succeed Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole's successor.
However, it is not difficult to see that the two major contenders are Pastor Ize-Iyamu and Godwin Obaseki.
According to the voter register released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the number of would-be voters is 1, 925, 105 in the 18 local governments divided into 192 wards with 2,627 polling units further broken down to 4011 voting points across the state.
Pundits have declared that the local government areas that may determine victory in the election are Orhionmwon, Oredo, Estako West, Egor and Ikpoba-Okha as any political party that secures a wide margin in these local governments is sure of victory.
Orhionmwon is the base of Deputy Governor Dr. Pius Odubu and candidate of the PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. It has 106,387 voters.
Oredo has the highest number of registered voters with 279,270 and 571 voting points and is the base of Godwin Obaseki and Chief John Oyegun, APC National Chairman.
Estako West is the home of Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Philip Shaibu, Obaseki's running mate, with 140, 366.
Egor with 184, 297 voters is the home of former military and civilian governor of defunct Bendel state, Brigadier Samuel Ogbemudia who has endorsed Obaseki.
Ikpoba-Okha has 260,342 would-be voters and is a strong base of bothe the APC and the PDP.
Others are Uhunmwode with 64,842 registered voters and 136 voting points; Owan West with 54,407 voters and 150 voting points; Owan East with 78,878 voters and 169 voting points; Ovia South West with 79,989 voters and 161 voting points.
Ovia North East has 126, 391 voters while Akoko-Edohas 111, 832 voters and 232 voting points; Esan Central has 50,603 voters and 108 voting points; Esan West with 89,762 voters; Esan North East with 76,644 voters and 150 voting points.
Esan South East has 66,698 voters while Estako East has 68, 080 voters; Estako Central has 43, 664 voters; Igueben has 42, 655 voters and 85 voting points.
INEC, Security, Prepared
INEC has declared its preparedness for the election saying it won't be inconclusive; The Police has also made similar assertion that it was fully prepared for the election and has deployed surveillance helicopters and gunboats across the waterways and crime-mapped places with more sniffer dogs from Rivers State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to augment the ones in Edo.
According to Habila Joshak, Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, no fewer than five policemen would man each of the 2,627 polling units across the state while 2,000 soldiers have been deployed to man the outer corridors of the state.
“There has been enhanced security deployment across board. We have zeroed on each of the polling booths and deployed at least five security personnel per unit.
“In each local government, we have at least 10 patrol vans for reinforcement. For the waterways, we have had effective five gunboats. I know that in Agenebode, we have gunboats. At the boundary between Ondo and Ogelegele waterside in Ovia Northeast, we also have it there.
“We have had to deploy gunboats manned by armed Mobile Policemen with Marine operatives on all the areas crime mapped.
“From 1am on Wednesday , there would be restriction of movement, particularly on the highways. People must identify themselves and subject themselves to some search because the issue of invasion by armed uniformed men that want to come and truncate the election has kept recurring.
“We are not going to trample on people's rights. But we would definitely restrain and ensure that those allowed to move, do so. The security deployment is not heavy and so, citizens are excited that their security is guaranteed. It is not an invasion and we won't have any negative effect.
“We planned with INEC. The future of our children cannot be trampled or rescheduled because of election. We have the capacity to manage both the election and the students writing examinations.
“This is GCE. It is an external examination, not for all the schools. It is also an isolated examination. So, we have looked at all the schools and the places they are. We would let the students go to their centres and write their examinations, while elections are ongoing.
“We have demonstrated and simulated what would come to play. We discovered there is nothing negative and we can manage the two. INEC has keyed in and accepted. From all issues placed on the table, voting won't take place where examinations are holding.
“We have also directed that students should get to their centres as early as 6am or 7am . We have publicised among security agencies that students should be allowed to go to their centres and they should go in group, in a bus that would be identified. There should also be a means of identification to avoid any problem.
“Never again should we allow election to be inconclusive as a result of security challenges. Never should we allow people using their position as cultists, hooligans, and thugs to ruin elections. This time around, force would be met with force. Those who use force and arms won't be allowed to go scot free.”
Story by David Oputah