Which of the two main candidates – Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC) – is leading at the moment in the Edo state governorship election? The real answer is that it is a very tight race and at this point it isn’t wise to take the media propaganda of any of the two parties to heart.
The electoral body, INEC, has said it will collate results on Thursday. From the results seen so far, the two parties (as expected) are leading in the zones where they are strongest.
The national leaderships of the PDP and APC have however claimed that they have large leads with each accusing the other of trying to overturn the results.
“Having received results from our agents at approximately 1,800 of the 2,627 polling units spread across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas of Edo State, we can confirm that our party has attained a near unassailable lead in the Edo State governorship election. The results so far confirmed to us that our candidate has garnered approximately 55 per cent of the total votes cast by voters,” said Dayo Adeyeye, the national spokesperson of the PDP in a statement in Abuja.
Adeyeye claimed that there is a plot by the Edo state government and a national commissioner at INEC to rig the election in favour of the ruling party.
He warned that “the Edo people and our party will resist any attempt to subvert the collective will of the people as expressed by their votes today.”
The APC on its own part said the PDP was being mischievous.
“From the results I have seen from the field, from where we are monitoring the elections here in Abuja, the APC is in a comfortable lead,” said the APC national vice chairman (South), Segun Oni. “Out of a hundred, the PDP has not won five, even in units they claim to have won. We are investigating because the number of voters exceeds the number of registered voters per unit.”
The situation is no different at the state level with the two parties claiming victories and trading accusations.
The PDP state publicity secretary, Chris Nehikhare, said the party is in a comfortable lead. He wondered why INEC had not announced ward results despite the fact that voting stopped by 2pm.
‘‘We are aware that the APC and INEC plan to change the results at the collation centres and we wish to warn that any change of the results will be met with stiff resistance,’’ he said.
APC state chairman, Anselm Ojezua, however said only INEC had the powers to declare results.
“The fact that they (PDP) are actually making those claims already tells me that there is mischief in the air because it is traditional that even when you know what the situation is, you have to wait for INEC to announce the results.
“If you see the fantastic results that are being posted from certain locations, you know that they could not have been credible. Therefore, I think that what they are doing is just to create more confusion,” Ojezua said.