Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, has accused the state government of masterminding the cancellation of Wednesday’s local government election in Esan North East Local Government Area of the state.
Orbih, at a news conference he addressed in Benin over the conduct of local government elections in the state in the last one week, compared the cancellation of the exercise in Esan North East, with that of the June 12, 1993 elections, saying it could not have been worse.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole has, however, accused the PDP of doing everything possible to stop the election, which started a week ago, but is yet to be concluded.
Oshiomhole spoke during the swearing-in ceremony of the council chairmen for Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Esan West local government areas, at the Government House, on Friday.
He said, “Twice the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission tried to conduct election in Esan North East and twice the PDP disrupted it.”
He accused the PDP of using instruments of the Federal Government to harass and intimidate voters in the state, saying, “When I swore in the first set of local government chairmen, I made the point about how the minister of works used armed riot policemen, over a dozen, to intimidate the voters in Esan North East and subsequently compelled the Divisional Police Officer and the Electoral Officer to announce the cancellation of the election and he went on the television to say how could he have disturbed an election that was not held.
“I did not accuse him of undermining an election that was held; we accused him of illegally using the police, conniving with the DPO to order the postponement of the election. He caused the election to be postponed because he had no chance of winning.”
Orbih, who rejected the outcome of the election in the declared 17 councils, said the PDP from outset, did not believe the government was capable of conducting credible elections.
He said, “The Edo State PDP regrets the unfolding drama that is happening about the local government election in the state. Right from the beginning, we’ve said that Oshiomhole is not interested in the conduct of a free and fair election in the state.