Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on Friday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become accustomed to rigging that it cannot boast of a transparent election in other states in the South-South geopolitical zone.
He, however, said Edo is the only state in the region that had been able to resist and dismantle the PDP rigging machine and would do so again on the rescheduled date for the state’s gubernatorial election.
The gubernatorial election was scheduled to hold tomorrow (Saturday) but the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, postponed it to September 28 based on security advice from the Nigeria Police and State Security Services (SSS).
Speaking when he received a team of European election observers led by Ben Llewellyn-Jones, of the British High Commission, Abuja, at the Government House, Benin City, Friday, Oshiomhole said, “We do appreciate the interest of what I might call friends of Nigeria, those who help us to continually and continuously remember that although there are different nation states, but the world has increasingly become one small village such that events in any part can affect the whole. So, we do not underestimate the import of this election even as it is limited to Edo State.
“Edo State as we speak is the only state that can boast of a record of transparent elections since I came on board in 2007. Since I came, my campaign slogan was, we must dismantle the rigging machine.
“Having been a union member all my life, I couldn’t condone the situation where people are imposed at various levels, and our people gave up on democracy in this state, just like the rest of the South-South”.
“I am sure you have witnessed elections there and you can write volumes. They vote with bullets, not with ballots. Terror, not persuasion is the name of the game in the rest of the South-South. But since I came in, we have fought the forces behind rigging. We emboldened the people to challenge authorities, which is what I have done when I was in labour. And even as they still rigged me out and I fought them through the legal process, painstakingly established how I was rigged out and I got my mandate restored. It never happened before, and nobody appreciates the essence of free and fair election more than myself”, the governor told the delegation.