Rigging: Ize-Iyamu wants Foreign Missions, Agencies to monitor Edo election

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the September
10 election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has asked foreign missions and
agencies in Nigeria to send observers and monitors to ensure that plans by
any party to rig the elections are nipped in the bud.

Ize-Iyamu said that the presence of such agencies would also put the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under intense pressure to
ensure that they conduct free, fair and credible elections.

He said in Benin that although 19 governorship candidates have been
cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the
elections, “it is no secret that the two main contending parties in this
election are the All Progressives Congress, APC, (the party of the
outgoing governor and of the Federal Government of Nigeria) and our party,
the PDP, which is the immediate past ruling party in Edo State.”

Ize-Iyamu stated that “the PDP is interested in a free and fair election
where the votes of the people of Edo State will count and the party is
ready to ensure that its main opponent, the APC, does not manipulate the
polls and results.

“All we request is a level play field, which the incumbent has so far
failed to provide. You must be aware of the obstacles they have put in our
way to prevent us from campaigning effectively as well as their denial of
our use of public facilities like venues, radio and television to reach
the people. Even our billboards and posters are vandalized.”

He therefore called on foreign embassies and High Commissions of countries
like the  United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, China, France,
Germany, The Vatican, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands,
Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the European Union,
as well as agencies such as International Republican Institute, National
Democratic Institute, USAID, DFID and Ford Foundation to ensure they
register their teams with INEC as independent election monitors and

He expressed hope that with their presence, the voters will not be
disenfranchised and the process will not be manipulated.

According to him, “the PDP in Edo State places a high value on election
observation across the State and would therefore welcome the presence of
observers and monitoring teams to observe the forthcoming elections to
forestall any attempt by any party to truncate the democratic process.”
He also requested the embassies to appeal to the President Muhammadu
Buhari not to militarize Edo State during this period so as to avoid

“We believe your appeal to the Federal Government, INEC, the Judiciary,
Army, Police and other security agencies will go a long way in ensuring
that there is free, fair and credible election and that there will be
peace in Edo State before, during andafter the governorship election on
September 10,” Ize-Iyamu said.

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