Ahead of the September 10, 2016 governorship election in Edo State, Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen has reportedly said he, and not Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
At a world press conference on Tuesday, August 16th, Iduoriyekemwen, reportedly accused the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP of misinforming the people of Edo State and destroying the party in the state.
He also accused INEC of being partisan, claiming that the commission had deliberately refused to obey court orders given in favour of the Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the PDP, which produced him as the party’s governorship candidate in Edo.
Speaking, Iduoriyekemwen said,
“The INEC has been behaving in a manner that has shown clear partisanship in the internal affairs of the PDP, openly making comments that tend to rubbish the court process.
“You will be surprised that when we were busy campaigning, reaching out to voters, to show INEC’s bias, on June 20, one Deputy Director of Public Affairs in INEC said they won’t monitor the Sheriff primaries.
“In another event the same man said INEC had yet to take a decision since Sheriff had gone to court. And some people said INEC did not monitor our primaries.
According to Ideuoriyekemwen, the Electoral Act is very clear and does not make it mandatory for INEC to be present in a primary as it only says INEC may or may not attend. He said,
“I read the other day (that) INEC published 19 candidates for Edo governorship poll and my question is: when did INEC monitor the primaries of other parties because I am in Edo State? And in that publication, with the intent to mislead the Edo people not to vote for the PDP, because you could see that recently a lot of the PDP leaders are moving to the APC because they know that the candidate that is supposedly being paraded by the party is not the candidate that they know can deliver the party in the next election.
“And when it got to the party, they wrote Ize-Iyamu’s name, they said court order. I am here to challenge INEC to tell us what they meant by that court order. Which court order are they obeying? Because there are a lot of court orders which said INEC should only deal with the Modu Sheriff faction. But INEC has continued to play politics to deceive the Edo people. But we are determined to get justice.
“I remain the candidate of the party and sooner or later the courts will pronounce the truth.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Imam of the Benin Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdul-Fatai Enabulele, on Tuesday called on political parties to caution their young supporters against disrupting the poll.
Punch reported that Enabulele made the call during a Town Hall meeting, organised by a German non-governmental organisation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, in Benin, the state capital.
The event was attended by security chiefs and other personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Prisons Service, Nigerian Immigration Service and the Nigerian Fire Service.
Also present were representatives of different political parties.
The Muslim cleric said, “The politicians will tell you that there will be peace and tranquility, but almost all the political parties have foot soldiers. Those are the youth who commit havoc (and) violence; those are the thugs.
“This, I want to appeal to them to caution their foot soldiers. If you do not win today, you can win tomorrow. It is not a do-or-die affair.”