By NBF News

Erediauwa urges peaceful polls
THERE may be no end yet to the verbal brickbats between the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state government as the former has accused the latter of purchasing 200 Sport Utility Vans to woo traditional rulers and politicians to support the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during the polls.

But ahead of the April elections, the Benin monarch, Omo N'Oba N'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, has called on all his subjects to maintain peace and ensure peaceful polls in their various domains.

In a meeting the monarch held with chiefs, elders, market women and opinion leaders drawn from the seven local councils that make up the kingdom, the monarch insisted that his subjects should not take laws into their hands.

The state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, who made the allegation on plot to induce monarchs, others yesterday in a chat with journalists, said the state government has commenced the distribution of the cars to some traditional rulers and politicians at the expense of the people of the state.

He also alleged that the state government was collecting N1,500 fees from pupils sitting for the Primary School Certificate Examination, saying that it was an illegal act and against the laws setting up the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme.

But the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, who is also overseeing the Education Ministry, Anslem Ojezua, described the allegations as 'untrue.'

He added: 'The PDP is just a desperate party and all they believe now is in telling lies and making spurious allegations that never existed. The state government never bought any car for politicians or traditional rulers just because of the election. That is just the figment of their imagination.

'And for the fees, it is common knowledge that education is free from primary to junior secondary but in private schools, it is not free; they pay money. What happened in this case is that we are the ones organising the exams for those in private schools, so they have to pay for the logistics since these schools collected money from the pupils. But for public schools, it is free; no dime is being collected. PDP is just being mischievous because this has been the system even when they were in power,' he stated.

Orbih said that the cars were purchased to induce traditional rulers. 'We are amused that a man who claimed to have taken over the politics of the state will spend so much after it dawned on him that he is indeed not on ground, hence this desperate last minute effort to bribe voters with his Greek gifts.

Represented by the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, Oba Erediauwa said as a peace-loving people,  they should ensure credible election this time around. He called for prayers for President Goodluck Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be able to conduct credible elections.