Edo Election: INEC new date slights coronation of the New Oba of Benin
The postponed Edo State Governorship election by INEC could have come from pressure mounted by the echelons of security agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Security Services, INEC choice for Wednesday 28th as the new date of the election points to an agency that is approaching the election with an already mind-set. The new date has knocked off the coronation of the New Oba of Benin which has earlier been scheduled for 26th of September.
This action according to investigation carried out by LeadingReporters is considered a slight on the tradition of Benin Kingdom. Although the coronation may have been shifted for a future date around October, the choice of the date by INEC is seen as total disrespect to what the people hold dear and sacred.
According to a traditional personality who spoke to us on condition of anonymity because he does not have the official permission to speak on the issue:
Edo State is a highly traditional State. Governor Adams Oshiomhole knows it and INEC should have taken into consideration that the coronation of the new Oba of Benin has earlier been scheduled for 26th of September. So, choosing 2 days interval between coronation of our new Oba and the governorship election is in the mind of many a sheer mischief. We hold our things so dear and sacred each time it involves palace affairs. It’s like an effrontery to what is dear and sacred to us
The norm before the INEC under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu was that elections were mostly held and concluded on Saturdays. In some rare occasions, counting may proceed to Sunday, especially in vulnerable polling votes. Elections were usually concluded, although results may not be announced immediately.
While INEC chairman has consistently heaped every blame of violence on the desperate politicians who want to win at all costs, INEC unpreparedness and inertia have in some good cases contributed to the distrusts that lead to these violence. A situation where INEC does not take earlier inventory of all the polling stations in a bid to ensuring that electoral materials arrive the booths on time should not be blamed on the politicians.
INEC passiveness has contributed perhaps more than any other factors to the inconclusiveness of elections in Nigeria.
When elections are declared inconclusive by INEC, the human costs in form of violence that claim lives and the material costs in form of new expenses to be incurred are enough reasons why INEC should endeavour to conclude elections as scheduled.