- The APC won all the chairmanship seats in the recently conducted local government elections in Edo
- Oshiomole, an ex-governor and APC leader in the state, said the landslide victory means that the main opposition party, PDP, is dead in Edo
- He mocked the PDP, saying its decision to boycott the elections was just an excuse to avoid defeat
The All Progressives Congress (APC) won all the 18 chairmanship seats in the March 3 local government elections held in Edo state.
The last time elections were held at the local government level in the state was in 2013 under the then governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and, since 2016 when the tenure of the chairmen and councillors ended, the councils had been run by Heads of Services, Vanguard reports.
However, the major opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), boycotted the polls, making it an easy victory for the ruling party.
The PDP, in a statement by the state publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, had said ahead of the elections: “PDP is not participating in the sham elections.
“We did not submit any candidate for any of the positions in any of the wards and local government areas in the state. As a matter of fact, we filed a case in court challenging EDSIEC, EDHA and EDSG on their powers, amongst other breaches, to amend the rules for the conduct of the elections. The case was adjourned to April 11, 2018, at the last hearing.
“From the onset, we outlined our grievances regarding the composition of EDSIEC, the unconstitutional amendment to the number of days’ notice required to be given to political parties before elections are held and question the competence of the EDSIEC as the antecedent of its Chairman stuck out like a sore thumb.
“At this point, we expected EDSIEC and/or EDSG to address these issues raised as they were germane, but instead, they preferred to pay lawyers up to N500m to keep the case in court. Our case is strong and justifiable. As a consequence and not wanting to give credibility to a flawed and skewed process, whereby all the winners have been predetermined, election results already written in government house and handed over to the Prof. Orobator led EDSIEC for announcement.
"We hereby advice all our members, sympathizers as well as the good and hardworking people of Edo State to observe March 3rd, 2018 as a day of rest”.
However, ten other political parties, including Labour Party, NCP, ADP, Social Democratic Party and People for Democratic Change, participated in the polls.
It was reportedly the first time the PDP would be boycotting an election in Edo. The party led the state for ten years before Oshiomhole came to power and solidified his APC in Edo.
Oshiomhole, who is the leader of the APC in the state, expressed shock over the decision of the PDP to boycott the elections, saying he sympathised with the party.
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His words: “The implication of the PDP´s decision is that they will not ask for votes from Edo people come 2019 since local government elections are now too small for them. I laughed when I read the PDP saying that they are going to court to contest the constitution of the EDSIEC and other issues that have to do with the local government elections.
“That is just an excuse to tell their members that they are still alive but they are dead. You can see people celebrating democracy at the grassroots. Our people are more interested in local elections because LGA Chairmen and councillors are those they see every day, and that is why you see that people are keen to vote.
“With these elections, we have just completed the liquidation of the PDP. There is no further proof of that liquidation other than that they have on their own admitted defeat. They don’t regard the people who vote for them at the grassroots.
“They have my sympathy because this is the same party that used to arrogantly rig people out and ask you to go to court. We have demystified them and entrenched one man one vote which is an area they don’t have competence. They are not used to voting, they are used to writing results”.
The elected chairmen were sworn in on Monday, March 12, by Governor Obaseki.
Speaking at the occasion, the governor charged the new heads of the councils to be accountable, responsive and responsible in administering the affairs of their councils.
He said: “My administration has kept aside N2 billion saved from the Paris Club refunds in the councils’ treasury for the new executives to commence activities. You are not coming to meet an empty treasury. I have saved your Paris refunds in excess of N2billion. So, you will be coming into office with some reserves and savings, but you have to focus on enduring projects.”
Legit.ng previously reported that Governor Obaseki said he would create more than the 200,000 jobs he promised during the electioneering campaigns.
Obaseki made the statement on Thursday, March 8, at the launch of a partnership with several organisations training youths on information and communication technology, small scale businesses and vehicle repairs amongst others.
The governor, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on skills development and job creation, Ukinebo Dare, said the jobs would be sustainable as many of the beneficiaries would become employers of labour.
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