The Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party have decried the additional financial burden forced on them by the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to shift the Edo State Governorship election.
The National Chairman of LP, Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkadir, and the National Publicity Secretary of the SDP, Alfa Mohammed, said this in separate telephone interviews with one of our correspondents in Abuja, on Sunday.
Mohammed said the SDP, like several other opposition political parties in the state, was fully prepared for the election before it was postponed.
According to him, the shift in the date for the election will cost individual opposition political parties between N30m and N50m each in terms of logistics.
He explained that these included the cost of flight tickets, feeding, transportation and accommodation of party agents, provision of campaign materials, advertorials as well as miscellaneous expenses.
He said, “We won’t quarrel much with the shift in date because of Sallah. The state has a substantial number of Muslims and also note that there is the issue of WASSCE or NECO examinations.
“But the question is: were they not aware that there was going to be Sallah or where was the security report when INEC was planning the election?
“This shift will cost each opposition party nothing less than between N30m and N50m because some of us have already disbursed transport, accommodation, feeding and other allowances to our party agents.”
The National Chairman of LP, Abdulkadir, said, “There is no doubt it will cost parties like ours a lot of money. I cannot put a figure to it now because we will need to audit our accounts before I get the details. ”
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has said he has no option but to accept the decision of INEC to shift the election from September 10 to September 28, 2016, based on security report by the police.
Obaseki said though he was disappointed that the election could not hold as scheduled, he would rather drop his governorship ambition than to have hoodlums hijack the election and shed the blood of innocent citizens.
A statement by his media aide, Tunde Oladunjoye, quoted Obaseki as saying this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos on Sunday.
He said, “We were ready for the election, but when the police belatedly raised the issue of security, there was nothing we could do. I will rather not be a governor than to have the blood of many people shed by miscreants that were imported into Edo State to cause havoc.”