Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on the military, the federal government and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to respect the will of the electorate by ensuring the conduct of the credible and transparent election.
Diran Odeyemi, deputy national publicity secretary of the party made the call yesterday in an exclusive chat with the Vanguard.
According to Odeyemi, the PDP is aware of moves by “the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government to deploy the military to cause panic in the fear of voters to pave way for the manipulation of the election in favour of the opposition party.”
He continued: “The PDP has done its homework well and our candidate, the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has in the past four years, delivered on his electioneering promises. But we are aware of moves to truncate the will of the people. So, we are calling on INEC to live to its independent tag by refusing to allow any of its staff member or auxiliary staff to engage in the dirty job for people who do not mean well for Edo state.
“They have a script which worked well for them in Osun state but Edo people will resist any attempt to revisit that playbook this time. For this reason, the PDP is calling on the good people of Edo to stand firm and ensure that their votes count. It is not sufficient to vote but voters should monitor their voices as captured in the ballot by waiting for vote counting before departing their polling units.
“All that the PDP is asking for is a level playing field that accords none of the contesting party an inch advantage over the others,” he said.
In what appeared a jibe at the federal government, the publicity scribe accused INEC of acting out a script handed it by “the powers that be in previous elections,” stressing that it has become necessary to call on local and international observers to “watch carefully as events unfold on September 19.”
His words: “Elections observers should be very diligent as they have always been. Whoever is found wanting should be exposed and dealt with in accordance with the laws.
“Talk to the people of Edo state today and they will tell you that Governor Godwin Obaseki deserves another four years at Osadebe Avenue.
“We are not going to engage in propaganda like the other party. Our campaign is issue-based and we call on Edolites not to allow their state fall in the hands of a selfish leader who after claiming to have ended godfatherism wants to commence a career in same now that he has fallen from grace to grass,” he added.