From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Edo Civil Society Organisations (EDOCSO) has criticized Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) for conducting a Local Government Councils election allegedly marred by irregularities.
The grouo also called on EDSIEC to apologizes to Nigerians and Edolites in particular for the national embarrassment in the name of election that falls short of their promises during the pre-election process.
The group, through its Interim TEC Chairman, Leftist Austine Enabulele, gave the criticisms while briefing Journalists in Benin City upon their observations of the just concluded Councils poll.
He said the election was highly anticipated with high hopes that it was going to be free, fair and credible while materials to encourage a smooth process will be made available but to their surprise, it left much to be desire.
“As this was one election that Edolites came out in their numbers to exercise their franchise out of trust for the assurances of the Edo State Government and EDSIEC which came out with disappoinment from EDSIEC, for not providing materials and officials in over 70 percent polling units of the almost 5000 polling units in Edo state, and going ahead to announce winners.
Enabulele said for putting up an election that most people have described as a sham, EDOCSO as a civil rights group, appealed to those who are to guarantee free, fair and credible elections and are not doing it to stop wasting the state’s resources all in the name of local government elections.
“We want to say to Edo State government and politicians that going forward in LGC’s elections, if they are not ready to run a free and fair elections, it’s better for them to appoint their illegal Caretaker Committee chairman or whatever title they choose to call them for Local Government Councils instead of wasting the precious time of voters on election day and of course our little resources on a charade called election.
“That the national assembly should as a matter of public urgency, quickly amend the electoral act to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the power to conduct Local Government Councils elections in states, even though their own credibility is shaking too, it will still be better than what we get from state’s electoral umpire”, Enabulele said.
He appreciated all those who came out to vote, though disappointed because of the absence of voter’s materials and officials.
He also admonished that they shouldn’t give up hope as they hope that one day, they will have a government system with conscience to do the right thing and give them good governance.
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