The Edo State Government has declared September 27 and 28 as public holidays for the conduct of Wednesday’s governorship election in the state.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole announced this on Saturday evening at an event organised in his honour by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in Benin City.
The governor explained that the work-free days were aimed at providing all eligible voters with the opportunity to relocate to their respective areas of registration.
He further said it would allow the voters to exercise their constitutional rights.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the re-activation of security plans earlier made for the Edo State governorship election before it was postponed to September 28, 2016.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that 25,000 police personnel would be deployed in the state, consisting of the Police Mobile Force, the Counter-Terrorism Unit, the Anti-bomb Squad, the Marine Police, conventional policemen, the Armament Units, personnel from Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Force Intelligence Bureau and the Sniffer Dog Section.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Donald Awunah, confirmed to our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, noting that the IG had ordered the deployment of the personnel in Edo State in stages.
He explained that advance units had already moved into the state in preparation for the election, while other operatives would join them before the D-Day.
Awunah stated that the security operation would be supervised by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police that would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector-General of Police and three commissioners of police.
“In addition, helicopters and gun boats, 10 additional Armoured Personnel Carriers and 550 patrol vehicles would be deployed to cover all the polling units, rack centres, collating centres, riverine areas and difficult terrains,” he said.
Awunah, while reiterating that the police would maintain neutrality in the election, warned miscreants, saying the police would descend heavily on any person or group who attempt to scuttle the electoral process and thwart the will of the people.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has denied the allegation that it was planning to rig the September 28 governorship election in Edo State.
It said the allegation by the Deputy Director General, Godwin Obaseki Campaign Organisation, John Osakue, to the effect that it (PDP) was working to rig the election, was without basis.
Spokesperson for the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
He said the allegation levelled against the PDP was false, misleading, adding that it was totally in keeping with the All Progressives Congress’ alleged principle of propaganda.
He alleged that it was the APC that was planning to rig the election.
Adeyeye alleged that the APC was planning to collaborate with INEC staff to gain access to INEC remote servers to disrupt and manipulate the e-collation process.