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Edo 2024: APC Accuses PDP of Cornering Voter Registration Exercise - TELL Magazine

Edo 2024: APC Accuses PDP of Cornering Voter Registration Exercise

As the governorship race in Edo State gathers steam, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the major opposition party, the All-Progressives Congress, APC, are locked in a war of words over alleged monopoly of the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, by the ruling party in the state.

The exercise, which is being conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, began on May 27 in Edo and Ondo States, and would have ended Wednesday June 5, but for its extension to June 9, 2024.

Firing the first shot, the state APC publicity secretary, Peter Uwadiae, on Wednesday accused the PDP of hijacking the process, alleging that only supporters of the party were being registered, whereas it was his party that advocated for an extension of the exercise even before it began on the premise that it would give more people the chance to register.

According to Uwadiae, “It is the level playing ground which has not been provided for all the parties to get their people registered that we are bothered about. PDP has been a stumbling block to other parties registering their members. It is unfortunate that you go to a registration centre and they will be asking you: which party do you belong?

“At this time of registration, the issue of party should not assume this proportion. The reason why you see that there are still many people to register is because of the idea that is being pushed that if you are not a PDP member, you cannot register. Even with the extension, the problem will still be there with the government of the day monopolising the issue of registration,” he added 

The PDP however fired back, describing the APC’s allegation as “spurious”. Olu Martin, the deputy director general, media, of the PDP campaign committee, accused the APC of lacking capacity to convince people to register, and attempting to destroy institutions.

Martin said, “Let me say that as a party, we are worried that individuals who ought to know, destroy or weaken our political institutions because they want to score cheap points. The implication of what APC has done with this spurious allegation is that it is saying that the Independent National Electoral Commission has been corrupted. If they are saying that the INEC cannot carry out a simple CVR task, then what becomes of a cumbersome task of conducting a governorship election?

“I have never seen PVC with APC or PDP written on it. Let’s even assume that there can be a level of influence in the ongoing CVR, it shows that the APC does not have capacity to convince people to register. There is no evidence to prove what they are saying. If people are encouraged to vote, but the party they belong is not written on their heads.

“My fear is that APC has achieved over the years, a seeming expertise of demeaning institutions. If you are demeaning INEC, what then becomes of their independence?”

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