The Edo State governorship election, held on Wednesday, is a tight race between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Godwin Obaseki and Peoples Democratic Party’s Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Early results from Wards in the state, which had not been authenticated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, indicated that the two candidates were running neck and neck in the poll.
The two parties, however, claimed to have gained comfortable lead in the election while accusing each other of planning to rig the poll.
While unconfirmed results showed that the PDP won seven out of the eight units in Ward 3, Uromi in the Esan North-East Local Government Area, where a former chairman of the BoT of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, hails from, the APC won one unit.
Also, the APC lost in the polling unit of the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, where the PDP emerged victorious.
The APC, on its own, won in Ward 7 in the Oredo Local Government Area of the state.
The APC scored 4,412 votes while the PDP got 4,047 votes.
The governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2012 election in the state, Charles Airhiavbere, who is now in APC, led the party to beat the PDP in Unit 18, 19, 20 and 21 of Ward one in Oredo LGA.
In Unit 18, PDP got 158 while the APC got 259. In Unit 19, APC scored 146 and PDP polled 85.
In Unit 20, the APC got 259 votes while the PDP polled 208 votes and in Unit 21, the APC scored 128 votes leaving the PDP with 98 votes.
In Oredo Ward 12, out of the accredited 4,399 voters, the PDP took the lead with 2,066, leaving the APC with 2,041.
In Oredo Ward 4, out of the total accredited voters of 4,911, the APC scored 3,058 while the PDP polled 1,541.
PDP national leadership alleged on Wednesday night that APC was planning to overturn its alleged victory in the Edo State governorship election.
The party said the results it received from its agents in the state indicated that it was leading the APC with a wide merging in the election.
Spokesperson for the party and member of its National Caretaker Committee, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, stated this in a statement in Abuja.
Adeyeye said, “Having received results from our agents at approximately 1,800 of the 2,627 polling units spread across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas of Edo State, we can confirm that our party has attained a near unassailable lead in the Edo State governorship election.
“The results so far confirmed to us that our candidate has garnered approximately 55 per cent of the total votes cast by voters.’’
He alleged that the PDP was aware of the alleged connivance between the state government and a national commissioner at INEC to rig the election in favour of the ruling party in the state.
PDP’s Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works, added, “We will like to reiterate our earlier note of warning: The Edo people and our party will resist any attempt to subvert the collective will of the people as expressed by their votes today.”
He urged members and supporters of the party in the state to continue guarding their votes at the ward collation centres and the local government collation centres.
“Eternal vigilance is the price we all have to pay for victory,” he added.
Reacting to claims by the PDP, the APC said the opposition party was being mischievous “as usual”.
APC National Vice-Chairman (South), Mr. Segun Oni, said, “The PDP is simply being mischievous. From the results I have seen from the field, from where we are monitoring the elections here in Abuja, the APC is in a comfortable lead.
“Out of a hundred, PDP has not won five, even in units they claim to have won. We are investigating because the number of voters exceeds the number of registered voters per unit.”
Meanwhile, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 5, Isaac Eke, described the election as very peaceful.
“The process has been peaceful; there was no hindrance to voters to exercise their franchise.”