Oredo LP candidate calls for cancellation as members stage protest against Edo LG poll

Mr Daniel-Ero Onaghise, Labour Party Chairmanship candidate for Oredo, has called for the cancellation of Saturday’s Local Government elections in the state.

Onaghise made the call during a news conference in Benin to react to the conduct of the election.

The candidate, who expressed dissatisfaction with the entire process, said the election was characterised by irregularities that should not be allowed to stand.

“During the stakeholders’ meeting, they said BVAS and card readers would be used as well while movement will be restricted.

“I have gone to some wards in Edo State and it took six to seven hours before materials could arrive at various polling units.

“I went to Oredo office of EDSIEC to know while material were not still on ground, but we were chased out.

“I have not been able to cast my vote at Oredo Ward 6 because as at 2pm materials, EDSIEC officials have not arrived and the election stops by 3pm while lots of persons have been waiting.

“It is so painful that even me, as a contestant, has not been able to cast a vote.

“Even if I am going to lose the election, at least I should vote for myself; and many people have not been able to vote.

“So I want to beg that the election be cancelled and fixed for a later date so that proper arrangement could be made for a proper election,” he said.

Onaghise urged the people of Edo to lend their voices against the electoral infractions because many people who came out to vote were disenfranchised.

Meanwhile, members of the party in the state on Saturday trooped out to protest the conduct of the poll.

The members, who stormed the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin, said the poll was marred with late arrival of materials and insufficient materials even as voters were disenfranchised.

Jeffrey Scott-Emuakpor, party chairman for Ikpoba Okha local government area, said the exercise was hijacked by political thugs, who went around unleashing violence on voters.

The irregularities, Scott-Emuakpor alleged, were perpetrated in connivance with local security vigilantes at the polling units.

Similarly, Maccido Eghaghe, LP chairmanship candidate for Ikpoba Okha, said he was shot at in his polling unit.

“I have been receiving calls and I took a trip to Idogbo which is the administrative headquarters of the LGA which also served as collation centre and where electoral materials are supposed to be distributed to the various wards in the locality.

“The vigilantes shot at me and others at very close range, so I escaped and that is why I am here for the press to let the whole world and the people know that there was no elections in Ikpoba Okha

“Wards 7 and 10 just reported that they forgot their ballot materials, but they are only given 100 ballot papers per unit which does not match the number of registered voters, and this is unacceptable.

“Again, election did not hold in Ikpoba Okha, there were gunshots. I witnessed it because I was shot at.

“I want to appeal to all LP members and supporters to remain calm as we are going to use all constitutional and legal means to ensure that justice prevails,” said the candidate. (NAN)