The Edo State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) has demanded an immediate investigation and empanelling of an Independent Judicial Commission of inquiry into the circumstances that have led Edo state government to want to renovate/construct the INEC office building in Benin.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by its state publicity secretary Chris Osa Nehikhare, the party said there is an ” ungodly alliance and collaboration was discovered when the tender for this contract was advertised in the Vanguard Newspapers of Monday, April 27, 2020, by the Edo State Government, through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.”
The Edo State Ministry of Physical planning and urban Developme had on April 27th invited bids for the renovation and construction of office building for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“On behalf of Edo state government, is desirous of carrying out the renovation and construction of other building for independent National Electoral Commission, INEC at kilometre 6, Sapele road, Benin City, Edo State.
“Fron it’s approved budget for the 2020 fiscal year; consequently, now invite sealed bids from eligible bidders who wish to bid for the project office building for the independent National Electoral Commission INEC,” the bid notice read.
But the PDP queried why such gesture is coming barely six months to the governorship elections in this state.
“The party’s call is predicated on the fact that in less than six months, INEC will be conducting a gubernatorial election whereby the APC led Governor Obaseki will be a key player. Edo PDP is saddened and dismayed that Governor Obaseki’s government has now resorted to “bribery” in an attempt to get a second term at all cost.
“The situation is yet another manifestation of leadership failure and insensitivity of the Governor Obaseki-led APC administration to the plight of Edo people at critical moments. It is unacceptable for a government that is struggling with providing palliatives for its citizens, helping businesses stay afloat and running an efficient and effective government, to continually divert state resources to the detriment of its people.
“Consequently, Edo PDP condemns unequivocally, the attempt by Governor Obaseki to bribe, compromise, coarse, intimidate, corrupt and manipulate INEC by the renovation or construction of its office building in Benin City.
“It is even more ludicrous for Governor Obaseki to ignore the optics of such a venture. Such anti-people antic from the government is symptomatic of a leadership that has not only lost focus but has lost touch and, certainly, the confidence of the people he was elected to serve.
“Our party holds that Governor Obaseki is desperate to get a second term and as such has thrown caution to the wind by pursing extraneous issues that have no direct benefits on the lives of the people.
“INEC as an independent body, should not allow itself to be compromised by accepting gifts from desperate state governments so close to elections. However, from our investigation, it was discovered that INEC doesn’t have an office in the address advertised. This is just another avenue to fleece our state treasury. This APC administration is reputed to be a haven of corrupt individuals, treasury looters, certificate forgers and election riggers.
The party went ahead to list conditions that mist be met by the investigative panel.
The Independent Judicial Commission of Inquiry must ascertain:
- Who approached who? Was it EDSG or was it INEC
- What demands were made?
- What promises were extracted?
Our primary focus as a party remains the welfare of our citizens as they are passing through a very difficult and harrowing experience as Edo State government has failed to reach the most vulnerable Edolites whose survival directly depends on daily incomes in the markets, shops and streets.
The action of the state government and INEC is unfortunate, reprehensible, treacherous and scandalous.