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tension heightened in Edo state, as leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),
heightened in Edo state, as leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), relocate to their villages ahead today’s governorship election in the state.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the ACN will be slugging it out with Gen. Charles Airhiavbere of the PDP and Solomon Edebiri of the ANPP. But a public opinion poll on the Edo State governorship election conducted by an Abuja-based Centre for Public opinion and Media Research has placed Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the ACN ahead with 75.8 per cent.
the straw poll in which 2, 920 respondents who are registered voters were sampled in 30 towns and villages across the three Senatorial Districts in the state, placed the PDP and its candidate, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) second with 14.1 percent.
the ANPP and its candidate, Chief Solomon Edebiri came third with 1.2 percent while the CPC candidate, Elder Roland Izevbuwa who has already stepped down for Governor Oshiomhole, came fourth with 0.3 percent.
Voters who could not make up their minds were 8.1 percent or 236 of the population sampled.Of the total figure sampled, 532 were from Edo North, 247 from Edo Central and 1,433 were from Edo South.
Analysis of the figure shows that 58.7 of those sampled were males while 40.8 percent were females. Besides, 77.3 percent of the respondents believe that INEC will conduct free and fair election while 22.7 said no. Also, 63.3 percent of the respondents said they have no reason to fear violence at the election, while 36.7 percent entertain fear at the election.
In order of preference, the respondents considered health issues first with a percentage of 30.9, Education followed with 23:1, Job creation, 20.3; security 8.2, Roads, 14.1 and others 3.4 percent.
According to the project consultant, Mr. Tony Ao 118 interviewers drawn from the University of Benin, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and Auchi Polytechnic carried out the straw poll.
Managing Director of Agama Environment and Energy Services Limited, the firm that carried out the poll, Mr. Peter Ritchie explained that the poll has an error margin of between 10 – 15 percent.
However, some ACN youth leaders have gone under ground following threats that they will be arrested and flown to Abuja few hours to the election. the opposition see those youth leaders as troublesome and decided to get ride of them to ensure that they are caged before the election.
There was a reported clash at the early hours of yesterday at Owan West Local Government Council of the state following attempts by some security agents to arrest some ACN youths. One of the youth leaders (names withheld) who was detained but later released after the ACN youths in the area vowed to engage the security agents in a physical fight if the youth leader was not released, told Saturday Vanguard that “the opposition brought their Federal might to arrest some of us so that we will not be around for the election.
“They threw up charges against us but we insisted that it will not happen. They held me for few hours before I was left alone”. Meanwhile, some people involved in the buying and selling of voters cards in Edo Central were arrested Thursday night. However, the national leader of one of the contending parties fought doggedly for their release.
Saturday Vanguard observed that the camps of Oshiomhole and Airhiavbere are mobilizing their men both financially and otherwise to ensure victory for their respective camps. It was observed that the two political parties screened their agents carefully in order to avoid any form of sabotage.
But the ACN is seriously being threatened in Oredo and Ovia North East, due to the presence of the Business mogul, Captan Hosa Okunbor and the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion respectively in those councils.
However, information available to Saturday Vanguard indicates that the leadership of the ACN are aware of the problem and are making frantic efforts to ensure they defeat the PDP in these areas. Oredo is the heart of the city but it has always been an ACN territory. But the PDP governorship candidate, Gen Airhiavbere will vote here today in his ward one.
As the people of Edo state go to the polls today, Oshiomhole is expected to cast his vote in his village in Iyamo while the ANPP candidate Edebiri will be voting in his Igbogbe ward in Uhunmwonde.
the state Commissioner of Police, Femi Adenaike, said the police command is ready for the polls. “We are ready, look around and see policemen every where.
We are going to police the 192 wards in the state and any body trying to make trouble should have a rethink because we will not tolerate any form of thuggery like the Inspector General of Police warned when he visited the state”. There is military presence every where in the state and soldiers are expected to man strategic points in the state, particularly areas considered as flash points. Oredo, Ikpoba Okhai,Ovia North East, Owan East and West, Ekpoma, Igueben, Ubiaja and Etsako Central are areas considered as flash points in today’s polls .
ACN, PDP mobilize for support.
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