Ahead of Saturday’s Edo State governorship election, anxiety and fear are palpable in the state over threats of violence during and after the poll.
Daily Trust learnt that the development was as a result of the violence that heralded the electioneering campaigns in the state.
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Aside from the violence witnessed at the Oba’s palace when Governor Godwin Obaseki and the PDP visited, there were several other attacks in the state, with the parties blaming each other.
The violence, it was learnt, however, subsided following the recent peace meeting organised by the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, for the two major political parties and their candidates, Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP and APC’s Pastor Osagie Ize-lyamu.
However, our correspondent reports that residents of the state are still expressing fear that the election may be marred by violence.
One of the residents, Mr James Uyi, expressed concern that the desperation by the political parties, their candidates and supporters have raised tension in the state.
“As you can see, their campaigns have not been very peaceful. There have been pockets of violence and attacks. This is a sign that the election will not be peaceful,” he said.
Another resident, Edith Ogbe, said she may not exercise her franchise due to the violence she witnessed during the PDP visit to the Oba of Benin palace.
“If politicians can be attacking each other during the campaign, I am afraid of what will happen during the election,” she said.
But Jimoh Ebaghi is of the view that the election will be peaceful despite the threat of violence heralding it.
On his part, the state INEC Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Johnson Alalibo, assured that the commission was ready to conduct a free and fair election.
He also assured that the threat of violence had been taken care of with the Oba of Benin’s intervention.
The police command in the state has assured of peaceful election.