Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and Security Agencies to be apolitical in the September 19, 2020, governorship election in Edo State.
Speaking as Guest on a Television Programme, on August 4, 2020, Governor Wike charged the electoral umpire to use the Edo election to correct its previous mistakes.
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, who monitored the programme, disclosed that Governor Wike said as the giant of Africa, other countries can learn something good on how to conduct free and fair elections from Nigeria.
According to the governor, the success of Edo election will be largely determined by the role played by security agencies and INEC.
“This is so because they often interfere with electoral processes, which manifests as scuttling of the will of the electorate.
“I do not know if I have one hundred percent confidence in INEC for now but maybe, as the days go on, what we will see may give us hope.
“Nigeria prides itself to be the giant of Africa and we go to other countries to observe elections and adjudge them as free and fair. But we find it difficult to do same here. We must show one good thing people can learn from us.
“We want free and fair election. INEC should not be partial. They should use this election to correct the mistakes that have been done in the past.
“We want to see what was done under President Goodluck Jonathan when Adams Oshiomhole went to Aso rock to thank him for allowing free and fair election in Edo State then. We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct that democracy be protected in Edo election so that one man one vote will count. We will also go to Aso rock to thank him,” he stated.
Governor Wike who is the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council stated that Edo governorship election would be easy to win and Governor Obaseki has a clear coast to return as the governor for a second term.
The governor said, Nigerians are watching to see Edo people demonstrate whether they love themselves or not by proving support for a man who was celebrated as the pillar of Oshiomhole’s administration.
“It is easy to win Edo election. This election will show if Edo people love themselves or not because they have two candidates; one has been demarketed by Oshiomole as not electable.
“Four years ago, Obaseki was the best support for Oshiomhole’s government and he said Osage Ize-Iyamu cannot be trusted with money, and that he is a fake pastor.
“Even Ize-Iyamu did not challenge such allegations including the one about pouring acid on a fellow student.
“This is the time to stop politicians with questionable character, who say one thing today and another the next day. Integrity, credibility and performance credentials favour Obaseki.
“Oshiomhole should render an apology to Edo people to say that those things he said about Ize-Iyamu were not true and not just to say that he regrets supporting Obaseki then.
“Even now, you can see how the APC campaign is going. It is Oshiomole that is doing the campaign, showing that without him, Edo people will not vote Ize-Iyamu. It is the same nature of godfatherism that Obaseki has resisted,” he said.
On the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Governor Wike suggested that technocrats should be used to run the agency instead of politicians.
He said the commission was fond of executing projects in the States without consulting State Governors.
This, he said, has led to duplication of projects or in some cases not entirely beneficial to the people.
He said to stop the trend, he challenged the Commission in court and won.
According to him, the court held that they must ensure that they consult the state governments before embarking on projects.