The highly anticipated elections has the state’s 1.6 million citizens tense over the outcome.
As Political titans get ready to face off at the poll, there are allegations that several parties intend to manipulate the elections and undermine the votes of the people.
The road to the election d-day has been rife with rumors of assassination attempts, and while some seven political parties are vying for the role, the big showdown is between ruling party candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party and incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
The arch-rivals have left no stone unturned in their intense campaigns against each other.
The PDP has been eager to win back the seat of power in Edo state after they were unseated by the ACN in the 2008 re-run elections. Prior to that, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor was declared winner in the April 2007 elections, but the win was disputed.
ACN’s ascension to power in Edo state has done considerable damage to the PDP camp in Edo state where members of the latter party have deflected to the ACN party.
Despite the heightened tensions in the state, security and election officials have assured that the voting process in the state will be protected.
More than 15,000 policemen and security personnel have been deployed to the state, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, confirmed to reporters, adding that every measure will be taken to assure elections are free, fair and safe.
Each polling unit will be equipped with five police officers, the IGP said.
Olufemi Adenaike, police commissioner in the state assured that nothing will be left to chance and said police officers will also be deployed to border points to check the infiltration of hired voters from neighboring states.
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo, armed soldiers and anti-riot policemen have taken over major streets in major towns of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the armed soldiers could be seen strategically positioned along major roads and streets in towns such the Benin, capital City, Auchi, Uromi, and Ekpoma.
The armed soldiers conducted stop and search of motor vehicles.
NAN reports that the heavy security presence may not be unconnected with various allegations and counter allegations that have greeted the governorship election.
It will be recalled that there have been allegation by political parties of plan to rig the election with fake policemen, INEC officials and the use of fake voters card.
Meanwhile, newsmen are also facing difficulty in getting accreditation for the election slated for Saturday.
As at the time of filling this report, several journalists from within and outside the state have yet to be accredited. (NAN)
Indian Village Bans Love-marriages And Mobile Phones For Women
Unmarried women under the age of 40 can no longer marry for love, visit the market unaccompanied or use mobile phones in a northern Indian village, media reported Friday.
Asara village council in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, 70 kilometres from New Delhi introduced the bans to protect “naïve’’ young men and women from corrupting influences, according to the Times of India and other newspapers.
The Hindu daily described the ruling as a “Taliban-style diktat’’ in its online edition, adding that Asara was Muslim-dominated.
Other minorities were also present when the bans were introduced.
Keeping young women away from the market would protect them from “roadside Romeos,’’ the Hindu quoted the council, while the ban on mobile phones reportedly came after complaints of “teasing’’ and “harassment’’.
But women’s activists criticised the measures.
“Why are the restrictions on women only why the panchayat (council) stop men from visiting the weekly market instead of women Shaista Amber, president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
“If men are kept away, the atmosphere will be equally secure for women at the market,’’ she said.
Police in the village said they were not yet aware of the measures, according to daily Hindustan Times.