By Peterson Ibi
The Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies on neutrality during the September 19 governorship election in the state.
State Chairman of the party, Dr. Tony Azeigbemi, who gave the charge on Sunday in Benin, while briefing journalists, said anything short of neutrality by them would amount to subverting the will of the people.
He said that Edo people deserve free, fair, credible and peaceful election, and that nobody, whether security agencies or in INEC official would be allowed to subvert the will of the people.
Azeigbemi said that the ward-to-ward campaign embarked on by the party indicated that “Edo people have prefrence for the PDP’s candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki, in the election.”
He added that from multiple opinion polls conducted by independent bodies and organizations, the PDP has the support of 80 per cent of the electorate in the state, while all other parties have 20 per cent.
“Folowing the above, we hereby demand, in the strongest terms possible, that INEC and the security agencies carry out their statutory responsibilities based on the oath of office they swore to, which is to be neutral.
“If you are caught doing the wrong thing, be assured that as a party that believes in, and promotes the right of people to freely express their choice, we will be waiting and ensuring that the law takes it course.
“Please note that anyone who deprives any human being from constituting their fundamental human rights is just as bad as enslaving or killing them and as such do not deserve anything less from the law.
“We will follow the process from A to Z from multiple angles, and if you are caught doing the wrong thing, be assured that as a party that believes in and promotes the right for people to freely express their choice, we will be waiting and ensuring that law effects the fullest possible punishment.
“However, anyone who deviates from this sacred oath, which he or she willingly swore to, knows that we will ensure that the most extreme hand of the law is meted out to them.
“We call on the parents of all the ad-hoc staff that will be engaged in this election, to call their wards to order. Edo people deserve a free, fair, credible and peaceful election, and nobody, whether in the security agencies or in INEC, will be allowed to subvert the will of the people.”