The Edo chapter of the All Progressives Congress on Friday said it regretted the postponement of the state governorship election to Sept. 28.
Mr Anselm Ojezua, Edo APC Chairman, who made this known at a press conference in Benin, claimed that INEC did not consult critical stakeholders before announcing the postponement of the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday postponed the election earlier scheduled to hold on Sept. 10.
The commission cited security reasons for the postponement. The commission had initially insisted that there would be no shift in the election date.
Ojezua regretted that political parties had spent much time and huge resources in electioneering campaigns in the past weeks.
He said, “First, the shift in the date for the election was announced without due consultation with critical stakeholders which include the All Progressives Congress.
“We believe that the timing and mode of communication by security agencies could have been better handled by having regards to the very hard work and huge resources deployed towards the election by all concerned.
“On our part, we have traversed the nooks and crannies of the state in the course of our electioneering campaigns, and we have been able to effectively market our candidates and our manifesto.
“Our members have been fully sensitized and mobilized in readiness for the election, culminating in our final campaign at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Sept. 6, which recorded the highest level of mobilization ever witnessed in that facility.
“It will, therefore, be fair to admit that the decision has adversely affected us somewhat.
“We are obliged to defer to the decision of INEC particularly when ”security threats” have been cited as the reason for the postponement.
“Although we do not have the details from the security agencies, we have in the past drawn attention to the influx of militants into Edo from neighbouring states during the Continuous Voters Registration exercise.
“As a matter of fact, some of them were arrested at Ologbo in Ikpoba Okha L.G.A., and charged to Court, but a host of others made it without detection.
“Those ones must be lurking around various locations within our state even as we speak.
“Data capturing machines were found to have been given to unauthorized persons to carry out illegal registration. A case in point is that of Alhaji Nakowa, a known PDP chieftain in Etsako Central.
“He was arrested with some unscrupulous INEC staff while engaged in illegal registration in a private residence in the middle of the night.
“All these, with the reported threat by the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Nwike, to the effect that the APC people should go and write their will, should be a source of concern to any right thinking person.
“You recall that the last time the same man issued the same threat in Port Harcourt, several people lost their lives including youth corps members who had been deployed to assist in the exercise in that State.
“The postponement, therefore, provides an opportunity for security agencies to address these concerns in addition to whatever other threats they may have discovered.”
Ojezua urged APC supporters to remain calm but vigilant.