Edo 2020: Residents express panic, faith ahead of gubernatorial election

By Bright

Governor Godwin Obaseki the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress (APC)

Elections are the only instrument of Democratic and peaceful transfer of power with the consent and choice of the majority as Edo state governorship election set to hold tomorrow, Saturday, 19th September, 2020.

Reporting from the street of Benin, Edo State capital, Mrs Precious a member of the All Progressive congress (APC), told reporter that she had always cherished the “leadership strength and capacity of (the incumbent governor) Godwin Obaseki,” and would have love to vote him if he had not dumped the APC. So Mr Obaseki’s decamping to the PDP was a factor in deciding who will earn her vote tomorrow, she said.

Also, a loyalist of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who want his name anonymous, said Pastor Ize Iyamu was a strong grassroot member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who contested in the last gubernatorial election with the hope of coming back to give a good governance to the state but under the same umbrella party to cover the people of Edo state but reverse is the case today... So tomorrow will decide, he said.

Though there are 14 candidates for the election, the quest for the chief security officer of the state has been rested on the shoulder of two strong personalities in the race, between the current Governor, Godwin Obaseki(PDP) and his opponent four years ago, Osagie Ize-Iyamu(APC).

This newspapers reported how both men swapped political parties and are now respective flag-bearers of the parties they opposed in the last governorship election — Mr Obaseki now upholds the umbrella of the PDP while Mr Ize-Iyamu now swings the broom of the APC.

A bus driver along ring road Benin in his word “We just want him (Governor Obaseki) to complete his eight years term. He is a nice man,” Master Osanrenren, said.

However, a young lady in the Bus said she will vote Mr Ize-Iyamu because of the support of Adams Oshiomhole, the state’s two-term former governor and APC former chairman, whose unending battle with Mr Obaseki accumulated to his sack as the party head and the former decamping to the opposition.

“He has done so much for Edo State,” Glory, a student of Auchi polytechnic Edo State, said.

As the driver drove the car along GRA in Benin-city, he, at intervals, pointed at structures that dot the landscape, saying, “this was done by Comrade Oshiomhole.”

He, however, will not vote because he fears that there would be violence, and nothing would convince him to believe otherwise, “because apart from that, votes don’t count.”

“We are not praying for violence here, all we want is peace. We pray that whoever wins will put us first, not someone that will win and “suffer” we masses,” The driver said.

     On the level of security
This newspaper observed on Thursday that police officers posted to Auchi Area Command that covers some wards in Edo North Senatorial district await deployment to their respective polling unit.

“We are here on special duty, and as you can see, there are many commands here for the election, Lucy Italoye, a police officer, said, “We are waiting to be deployed to our various local governments”

“My job here is simply to protect the electorate and ensure there is no fight or quarrel. People should feel free to vote for anyone they want to vote for.”

“They have not given us food, no accommodation, no allowance,” a colleague of Ms Italoye quickly chipped in, declining to give her name.

Another police officer, Aminu Dandare, deployed from Kano Command, also said that they are yet to be deployed to their specific duty posts.

While reacting to the development, the state’s police spokesperson, Chidi Nwabuzor, said over 31,000 officers have been deployed, “but all that is left is movement.”

The inspector-general of police had earlier said three police officers would mount each polling unit.

“I can confirm to you that those officers have been deployed to the three senatorial districts which are made up of 18 local government areas,” Mr Nwabuzor said. “What they are waiting for is movement distribution.”

He, nonetheless, downplayed the claim that the officers have got no allowance or accommodation, saying those were not necessities.

“(In) operations of this magnitude, you don’t need accommodation, because we are to police the area from day 1 to the end of the election. You don’t need accommodation. It is a serious task,” he said.

He declined further comments on the state of security ahead of the election, saying he has no “jurisdiction nor authority to speak since we have senior officers on ground.”

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