8th May, 2013
An official of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, has described the assessment of some observers of the April 20, 2013 local government elections in the state as unfortunate going by the reports they have been publishing about the election, alleging that the observers actually demanded for money from Chairman of the Commission.
Professor Stanley Orobator, who addressed journalists on behalf of the Chairman of the Commission, Solomon Ogor at it’s headquarters in Benin City, said many of the election observers, who have been condemning the election in Abuja, were individuals that did not even meet the criteria for monitoring elections, adding that they demanded that the Commission pays them for monitoring the election.
According to Orobator, 104 persons and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) applied for accreditation, but that on receiving their applications, it was discovered that most of the applicants belonged to unregistered bodies while some forged registration certificates.
“The commission then screened the applications and reduced the number considerably and issued letters of acceptance indicating the absence of any financial commitment, he said.
He added that the Commission was shocked when some of the monitors arrived two days before the election and started demanding for money to enable them monitor the election while others also came after the election to demand that the Commission offset their bills.
“It became imperative for the commission to explain to the observers that it never budgeted for their payment. Embittered by this development, some of them who never submitted any report of their observations of the elections to the commission went to Abuja to organise a press conference to condemn the election.”
He said the commission, “views the action of some of these observers as patently political and unhelpful to the course which they purport to pursue.”
The EDSIEC official pointed out that the observers did not monitor the election neither did they do anything to ensure a free and fair election.
He however promised that the Commission would conduct a credible election into Esan North East Council and the remaining wards in some local government councils across the state at a yet to be announced date.