*Urges them to use the election to correct wrongs of the past
*Insists on free, fair, credible poll
By Myke Uzendu
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and security agencies strive to be apolitical in the September 19, 2020, governorship election in Edo State.
Speaking as guest on Tuesday early morning Channels Television programme, Governor Wike charged the electoral umpire and security to use the Edo governorship election to correct its previous mistakes.
He stressed that as the giant of Africa, other countries should learn how to conduct free, fair and credible elections from Nigeria and not otherwise.
According to the governor, the success of forthcoming Edo election will be largely determined by the role played by security agencies and INEC, nd urged them to note that posterity is watching them.
“This is so because they often interfere with electoral processes, which manifests as scuttling 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, fair and credible 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 during President Goodluck Jonathan’s government 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 be the case. We will also go to Aso Rock to thank President Buhari,” he said.
Governor Wike who is the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the election, stated that the Edo state governorship election would be easy to win and Governor Obaseki has a clear coast ahead of him to return as the governor for a second term.
Wike said Nigerians are watching to see Edo people demonstrate whether they love themselves or not, by remaining in support of 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 tender 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) fraud, Governor Wike suggested that technocrats should be aooiinted to run the agency, instead of politicians.
He said the commission was fond of executing projects in the states without consulting state governors, adding that part of those breeds corruption in the agency.
This, he said, has led to duplication of projects or in some cases, projects that are not entirely beneficial to the people.
He said that in order to stop the trend, he had challenged the commission in court over some of their projects and won.
According to him, the court held that they must ensure that they consult state governments before embarking on projects.