After weeks of dramatic, tension soaked campaigns, the people of Edo State,are trooping out in their numbers this morning, amid tension, to elect a governor that will manage the state for the next four years.
14 political parties are fielding candidates for the election, but the contest will be a straight fight between incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to statistics released by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, there are: 2,210,534 Registered Voters,and out of these, 1,726,738 collected their PVCs, leaving about 483,796 uncollected PVCs. There are 2,078 Polling Units and 1892 Voting Units.
For most of yesterday, tensions remained very high across the state, with voters bitterly divided between the two leading candidates. Allegations and counter-allegation of planned rigging and vote buying by the camps of the leading candidates dominated the atmosphere.
Pastor Ize-Iyamu has the backing of the former Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is the immediate past National Chairman of the APC,while PDP Governors led by Governor Wike of Rivers State are solidly behind Dr Godwin Obaseki.
There had also been reports of violence and killings with continued clashes between supporters of the two leading political parties ahead of the today’s election. This has resulted in a high concentration of security agents across the state.
On Friday, the opposition party raised alarms about their Governors from other states who came to show solidarity with the PDP candidate, being barricaded in their hotels by teams of policemen and other agents. The security men were later called off.