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Edo 2020: INEC Insures Over 20,000 Ad-hoc Staff Against Death, Others

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Ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission says it has ensured all its staff and the 20,974 ad hoc staff that will be deployed for the exercise. It said comprehensive insurance had been put in place for them and those who would serve in the October 10 governorship election in Ondo State.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, told journalists in an interview on Saturday that the election officers would be insured against deaths and other election hazards.

There have been apprehensions from within and outside the state that the election, which holds on Saturday, maybe marred by violence. This had prompted INEC, security agencies, prominent individuals, and organizations to sue for peace.

No fewer than 14 political parties would participate in the election, but the two major parties in the state; All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party, continue to accuse each other of planning to foment trouble during the exercise.

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, had on September 2 chastised the candidate of the PDP, Governor Godwin Obaseki; that of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and some other party chieftains over the pockets of political violence and tensed political atmosphere in the state.

In a meeting with the candidates, their running mates, and other stakeholders at his palace, the monarch described some of their utterances and activities during the electioneering as immature.

Many previous elections across the country have been marred by violence, during which some election officers were killed.

But in a bid to assure its personnel of its commitment to their safety in the forthcoming election, Okoye said the staff members of the commission were already insured but that the ad hoc staff would be insured.

Okoye said, “All the ad hoc staff engaged by the commission for the purposes of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections will be covered by insurance and it’s comprehensive insurance covering deaths, accidents, and other election hazards. It’s a group insurance that covers every individual given a contract by the commission as ad hoc staff. The staff of the commission are already covered and there is no need to cover them a second time.”

The National Commissioner also said most of the ad hoc staff had been trained, except for Collation Officers who are usually trained three to four days to the election.

He said corps members would be deployed as Presiding Officers and students of federal tertiary institutions as Assistant Presiding Officers. While promising that each of them would be given a contract and their allowances paid promptly, he added, “We plead with them to always supply their correct details and account numbers to prevent the late payment from the bank.”

He added, “The commission will deploy a total of 20,974 election officials in Edo State. We have 18 Local Government Areas in Edo State, so there will be 18 Local Government Collation Officers; 192 Registration Area Collation Officers, 263 Supervisory Presiding Officers, and 2,627 Presiding Officers.

“The commission will also engage a total of 13,557 Assistant Presiding Officers and 3,259 Presiding Officers (Voting Points) and we will also engage not less than 841 Reserves. There will be one Returning Officer for the election. There are 2,627 polling units and a registered voter population of 2,210,534. Our training programme has been robust and we are confident that our trainers have done a good job.

INEC had said out of the 2.2 million registered voters in the state, only 1.72 million collected their permanent voter cards, while 484,000 persons who did not collect theirs would not vote.

Mahmood meets Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu, others Monday

Meanwhile, INEC National Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, will on Monday hold the last stakeholders meeting in Benin, the state capital, while the ad hoc staff would be deployed on Friday prior to their resumption on Saturday. He noted that non-sensitive materials had been deployed to the Registration Areas already.

Okoye said, “The commission will deploy the ad hoc staff to the Registration Area Centers on Friday, September 18, from where they will be deployed to the polling units at first light on Saturday. As a prelude to the election, the Chairman and National Commissioners will hold the last stakeholders meeting on Monday and sign, and the political parties and their candidates will sign a peace accord on Tuesday.”

Yakubu had said on Thursday that the National Peace Committee, INEC, and every conscientious Nigerian had been concerned about the fear of violence in elections.

BIG STORY

I’II Announce My Next Plan Soon, Ize-Iyamu Speaks After Saturday’s Loss To Obaseki

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has said he will soon announce his next line of action after the declaration of Governor Godwin Obaseki the winner of the Saturday poll.

Ize-Iyamu, who trailed the winner with over 84,000 votes, said he was still studying the results and he would make known his plan very soon.

He said this on his Facebook page.

It read, “I hereby thank and appreciate my teeming supporters, who have had to endure many evils including being prevented from exercising their franchise, for their support and determination during the election process.

“I assure you all that I am studying the results along with other party members and will announce the next line of action soon. God bless you all.”

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BIG STORY

Edo 2020: Buhari Congratulates Obaseki, Hails INEC

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re-election.

He also hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the smooth process that led to the emergence of Obaseki.

In a statement on Sunday by his Senior Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said: “President Buhari has commended the election process in Edo State which led to the victory of @GovernorObaseki as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“”I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.

“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.

“He commended the people of Edo State, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.”

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BIG STORY

#EdoDecides2020: PDP Defeats APC In Ize-Iyamu’s LG, Obaseki Leads With Over 85,000 Votes In 16 LGA’s

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Edo State Governorship Election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was defeated by the Peoples Democratic Party in his local government, Orhiomwon.

The Independent National Electoral Commission announced that the APC polled 10,458 votes while PDP got 13,445 votes in Orhiomwon.

Ize-Iyamu hails from Iguododo in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state.

The official results from 16 of Edo’s 18 local governments have been announced.

The incumbent governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP so far has 288,572 votes while Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC has 202,525 votes.

One of the two remaining local governments whose results is being awaited is Orhionmwon, the local government of Mr Ize-Iyamu where an INEC official was shot.

INEC has said it is working with security agencies to investigate the violence in the local government.

Messrs Ize-Iyamu and Obaseki are the main candidates in the governorship election, although 14 candidates are taking part in the election.

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