Obaseki projected to win Edo guber poll as Group commends INEC
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the Edo State governorship election, Godwin Obaseki, is projected to win the election by a wide margin going by results from more than half of the total wards where election took place.
At the time of filing this reports, INEC has received results from about 1,576 polling units out of the 2,627 units across the state with the PDP in clear lead. The lead by the PDP began to show a few hours after the close of voting as announced results showed the PDP leading the closest rival APC.
Available results showed a dismal performance by other political parties some of which scored zero votes at some polling units.
In Ovia South West Local Government area, Ward 5, with 15 polling units, the PDP scored 1,728 votes while the APC recorded 1183. At ward 6, Esan South East LGA, the PDP polled 1567 votes to APC’s 1458.
Other results released followed a similar pattern barring any last minute changes.
Meanwhile, Campaigns for Equal Voting Access for Persons with Disabilities (EVA4PWDs), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has commended the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on the equal access voting given to Persons with Disabilities in the Edo Governorship election.
Mr David Anyaele, the Chairman of the group, said this on Saturday in its preliminary statement on the conduct of the election.
Anyaele however, said that although priority voting was given to the PWDs, the elderly and pregnant women, other disability support aids where missing at polling units which hindered full participation of the PWDs.
“EVA4PWDs is impressed to observe that marginalised sects such as the aged, nursing mothers and pregnant women and PWDs generally were offered priority voting in most of the polling units observed.
“However, we are disappointed that INEC displayed minimal commitment to the implementation of the framework on access and participation of PWDs in the electoral process, as provided in the National Disability Act, 2018.
“The promised Braille voters’ guide and Braille ballot paper by INEC for easy access of election day instructions, guidelines and ballot paper for Blind voters were scarcely available.
“Where it was available, many INEC ad hoc staff did not understand its usage but got assistance from observers on how to use the Braille materials.
“This was the case in Polling Unit 003, Car Park Ward 1, Oredo LGA, where an observer assisted in locating the Braille material.
“There was absence of magnified lens at the Polling Units, INEC ad hoc staff who claimed to have at some polling units were unable to neither display it for observation and usage,” he said.
An Observer said that other observers reported that the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials such as Election Day instructions and guidelines to assist the deaf or persons with hearing impairment were also unavailable at majority of the PU’s visited.
Anyaele also said that reports showed that a large numbers of the PUs were not accessible to physically-challenged persons as they were sited at buildings without ramps and handrail, across gutters, and over staircases.
He noted that INEC Covid-19 guidelines were not adhered to in majority of the Polling Units visited due to uncontrolled large crowds.
“We have reports from areas like Greater Tomorrow High School, Oredo Ward 1, Ramat Park at Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo LGA, among other Polling Units, where the crowds were uncontrollably large,” he said.
Anyaele, however, urged INEC to address the major barriers identified in the Edo elections and make necessary provisions ahead of the Ondo State Governorship election slated for Oct. 10.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group, in collaboration with the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), an NGO, trained and deployed INEC accredited observers to the three senatorial zones of the Edo State.
The observers focused on equal voting access for persons with disabilities and monitored the provisions made by INEC for PWDs. (NAN).