- Governor Adams Oshiomhole received the new resident electoral commissioner, Sam Olumekun, at the state's government house in Benin city
- The governor reiterated that he has been a believer and preacher of one man, one vote and gave directive to the new REC
- The REC announced the date for party primaries, commencement of campaign and the actual date for the election
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has reportedly given strict directives to the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead the governorship election in the state.
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Leadership reports that the governor, who spoke at a meeting with the new resident electoral commissioner (REC), Sam Olumekun, who paid him a courtesy visit at the government house, Benin city, directed him to flush out corrupt officials, who were fingered for aiding electoral fraud in the last general election.
“Allow me, on behalf of the government and the good people of Edo State, across all the party divide to welcome you to Edo State and to pray the God almighty to protect you as He has protected your predecessors, guide you, give you wisdom, courage and robust energy to superintend over the preparations and the conduct of the forthcoming election and beyond.
“I am a believer as some of your officers on ground may have briefed you. I am a believer and a preacher of one man, one vote because for too long, the promise of democracy was compromised in our country and my campaign matra was that you must fight election fraud, not because of me but because of our country.
“It was clear to me that unless you have an accountable government, poverty will remain endemic and society will remain unsafe. But I am happy that several years down we have practiced it,” Oshiomhole said.
Meanwhile, the electoral commission on April 13 listed the guidelines and timetable for the gubernatorial election scheduled to hold in the state on September 10.
The electoral umpire announced that party primaries will hold from June 2 to the July 4, 2016; while campaigns will kick off on Sunday June 10, 2016.
The commission also announced that official register of voters for the election will be published on August 11, while the election proper will take place on September 10.
Meanwhile, the governor has been at logger head with some of his party leaders in the state over choice of gubernatorial candidate because he wants Godwin Obaseki to be his successor.
Charles Idahosa, a special adviser on politics to Oshiomhole reveled to newsmen in Benin city, that the governor is in need of someone who has what it takes to look inwards for the needed funds to develop the state.
The governor's aide said the present economic reality requires a professional economist, not a politician who gives political considerations before carrying out programmes even when those consideration are not realistic.
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On perceived backlash should Obaseki be fielded as candidate of APC, Idahosa said people should not be deceived by what happened in the last National Assembly election where PDP defeated APC to judge what will happen in the 2016 governorship election, adding that the Benins cannot be fooled because they will never forget what Oshiomhole has done to develop the state.
He assured that there would be free and fair party primaries, stressing that whoever APC picks as candidate would beat the candidate of the PDP hands down, saying: “the beating of 2012 governorship election will be a child’s play.”