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Edo Guber: PDP, APC, INEC On War Of Words Over Planned CVR Exercise

The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are on war words over the planned Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) slated to begin on the 27th of May as an accusation, counter-accusation and denials of alleged plot to compromise the exercise have taken centre stage.

Addressing a press conference in Benin City on Saturday, the State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Prince Uwadae Igbinigie alleged that there was a planned connivance between the INEC and the state government to compromise the exercise claiming that the party has information that the electoral body was ready to accept logistics support for the exercise from the state government and that the head of the ICT of INEC whose husband he claimed is a member of the PDP was working with a female INEC official in Bayelsa state to make sure that people with questionable intentions were either registered or ensure that they transfer their voting centres to Edo State.

He also alleged that INEC plans to use ad-hoc staff from teachers under the payroll of the state government.

He said, “The immediate deployment of INEC Head of ICT in Edo State who we know is working closely with a female INEC staff in Bayelsa State: She is the wife of a PDP chieftain in Edo State.

“The strict compliance with the INEC designated venues for the CVR exercise which is the Ward Headquarters.

“Complete restriction of transfer of voters from neighbouring states during the CVR exercise.
“We reject the use of Obaseki uniformed thugs such as PUWOV, EDSTMA, and State Security Network as security across the State. The Nigeria Police, the Civil Defence Corps and other paramilitary are better for this critical exercise.”

In a swift reaction, the Commissioner for Orientation and Communication, Chris Nehikhare in a statement denied the allegation saying “The press conference the APC held to me is a gathering of confused people who have nothing to offer. They are aware that they have the worst candidate who they are finding difficult to market.

“The allegation they made against INEC is like that of a man who is not prepared to write an exam that has been fixed for a certain date. We are embarrassed that this is the quality of opposition the APC is offering in the state.

“We want to say as a government we are interested in our people coming out to register during the CVR exercise. That is what the government does. Also, political parties encourage the people to come out to register because it is the vote of the people that decides who governs them.

“During elections, we have what the INEC calls the ad hoc staff, from what pool they are employed. The Edo State has nothing to do with the manipulation of the CVR. What we believe in is getting Edo People to come out and register. When they register we know they will vote for us because they have seen what we have done.

That’s why they are afraid because their government has brought so much hardship to Nigerians with an increase in the price of goods and services.”

Reacting, the Head of voters’ education, INEC, Edo office, Tmidi Wariowei said “I don’t understand what they are saying. Last we held a stakeholders’ meeting APC was represented, but they didn’t say anything.

“The same thing took place in the 18 local govt they were also there and didn’t say anything.

“If APC or any other political party has any grievances against the commission or its staff they have the right to petition the agency.

“Our doors are always open to everybody. This idea of a press briefing to cast aspersion or unwarranted allegations against the commission is not the best.”

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