Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said on Tuesday that the picture of a convicted terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was found in a fake voter register as an eligible voter for Wednesday’s governorship election.
Oshiomhole, who spoke when he received the United States Consul General in Lagos, John Bray, at the Government House in Benin, explained that the said terrorist was registered with a Bini name.
Abdulmutallab was convicted for attempting to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear onboard an airline from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009.
Oshiomhole, who expressed worry over the development, noted that the foundation for credible elections was the voter register, adding that once the voter register was manipulated, there could be problems.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Independent National Electoral Commission in Edo State, Mrs. Priscilla Imoudu-Sule, promised to get back to our correspondent.
But she has yet to do so as of the time of filing the report.
Oshiomhole explained, “Right now, we have evidence of two versions of the voter register – the one they have officially distributed and the one that some elements within the ICT in INEC have also produced in Abuja.
“What they have done in the past, which we hear they want to re-enact, is that they will display one voter register which is reasonably accurate. They also have a fake one which they intend to bring and use to spring a surprise in certain locations, where they believe that they have no chance. When voters go there, they would find a voter register different from the one that they know. There will be confusion in those voting centres.
“For example, I was shocked to find the portrait of Mr. Abdulmutallab, and that will interest Your Excellency, the young man who has been jailed in the US for a terrorist act. His portrait is in the fake voter’s register with a Benin name under it.
“I am sure if you look at the face, if we don’t know the face, you, the US officials know the face. And you find the name under it, that it is a Benin name in Ovia South-West.”
He also alleged that INEC had enlisted some members of the opposition party as election observers even in Etsako-West, where he hails from.
The governor said, “Last night, in my local government, one of the PDP leaders, who incidentally is on the list of INEC observers, I can be very specific, one Tenebe, we have information that he got boys around and they were shooting. But the police went to apprehend them; they engaged the police in a shootout.”
Oshiomhole, however, reiterated the commitment of the state towards a peaceful conduct of the election, adding that, “I guess that if you review your records or your political notes, you would find that up till 2007, our opponents relied solely on rigging.”
Earlier, he US Consul-General, who led a delegation of election observers, expressed the hope that the outcome of the poll would reflect the will of the electorate.
Brady said, “We are here to observe the elections. We will all be watching this election very closely. It is essential that the election is peaceful, fair and credible and reflects the will of Edo citizens.
“The postponement was a setback a few weeks ago. But I still believe it offers us the opportunity to hold the first successful and transparent governorship election in 2016.”