Residents of Edo State will today choose a new governor to succeed the outgoing Adams Oshiomhole. In compliance with the law, all the contesting political parties ended their campaigns yesterday. The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) said yesterday that it had deployed a total of 15, 250 personnel to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls. The NSCDC Acting Deputy Commandant General, Operations, Hillary Madu, disclosed this while addressing some personnel of the corps in Benin yesterday. “Edo is well known for peace, every state of the federation always looks unto the state for its peaceful nature, and that is what we are here to maintain. “This election is not about anybody, and it is not worth the soul of anybody. We must all work for the success of the poll,” he stated .He said officers of the NSCDC would be visible in all the 2,627 polling units, and 192 wards across the state. Residents of Benin City were seen engaging in last-minute shopping yesterday to stock their homes with foodstuffs. Many journalists, as at the time of filing this report, were also battling to secure accreditation from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after being cleared to cover the polls by the state leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). There were reports of some politicians entering Edo from neighbouring states disguising as journalists. Some buyers at some of the major markets in Benin metropolis said they were afraid because the election was shifted from September 10 to September 28, and that the exercise may create confusion which may in turn lead to curfew being imposed by government. Members of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room urged the INEC to ensure an early distribution of electoral materials and deployment of personnel ahead of today’s election. They called for transparency in the collation process. The group’s representative, Clement Nwankwo, said in Benin that no fewer than 70 civil society organisations make up the situation room, and observers have been deployed in all the 18 local governments. Nwankwo said a situation where INEC leadership will fail to keep an eye on their staff during the collation process will not be acceptable, adding that the situation room will hold the commission accountable for any such failure. He expressed satisfaction with INEC guidelines on simultaneous accreditation and voting. The situation room noted the statement of the police that they are prepared for the elections and have deployed adequate personnel and materials for the exercise. Nwankwo called on the security agencies in the state to provide adequate security and be civil in their conduct during the election. A non-governmental organisation, Women’s Situation Room Nigeria (WSRN) urged Edo women to vote for candidates of their choice without fear and harassment. The National Association for Peaceful Elections in Nigeria, (NAPEN) and Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) called for peaceful polls.
Edo State elects new governor today
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