Edo: CSO identifies Etsako West as flashpoint

•Tasks security agencies

An accredited election monitoring and observer group, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has identified Etsako West in Edo North senatorial district as likely flashpoint in the tomorrow governorship election in Edo State.

Tribune Online findings revealed that both former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and the deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu are from the local
government.

A statement signed by CTA Executive Director, Faith Nwadishi listed Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Central, Owan West and Akoko-Edo in Edo North Senatorial District as areas the security agencies should give attention.
It similarly mentioned Edo south and central senatorial districts.

“It is important to note that during our interactions with stakeholders, citizens expressed the fear of potential violence across the entire 18 LGAs and 14 Local Government Areas have been identified as flashpoints, we urge that particular attention is paid to these LGAs. They are; Etsako West, Etsako East, Etsako Central, Owan West and Akoko-Edo in Edo North Senatorial District, Oredo, Orhionmwon, Egor, Ovia North East, and Ikpoba-Okha LGAs in Edo South Senatorial district and Esan Central, Esan North East and Esan West in Edo Central Senatorial district.

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“However, we call for particular attention to Estako West, (Both the former APC Chairman and the Incumbent Deputy govern and deputy governorship candidate are from this LGA). Also, to note are Oredo and Orhiomwon, (the LGAs of the two most popular candidates of the 14 governorship candidates for the election). The mandate of ‘You must deliver your area’s mantra for politicians, will be the main reason for the violence.

“The police also reported the influx of small arms and warned on the consequences. The fears raised scared not only the citizens but elections monitors and observers.”

The group which already has its team spread across the three senatorial districts also expressed over prevailing financial inducement of prospective voters.

“Vote trading has become a cankerworm eating deep into our polity and has become an ugly feature of elections in Nigeria today. Politicians have devised many ways to buy votes through gifting people with wrappers, food items and enticing palliatives. This should worry every well-meaning Nigerian. Politicians must desist from vote-buying. Voters should not sell their votes as that will amount to selling their future and mortgaging the future of younger and unborn generations. The law enforcement agencies especially EFCC should be firm, while not going outside the law, in enforcing the electoral law including arresting people engaging in unwholesome practices such as vote trading.”

The centre commended the efforts of the General Abdul Salam Abubakar led Peace Committee in making the political parties and their candidates to sign the peace accord.” CTA especially commends the Oba of Benin for calling the political parties and their candidates to order. His charge for a peaceful election should be a reference point in our election history and the roles that our traditional institutions should play in ensuring peaceful and violence-free elections in Nigeria.”

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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