The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that it will investigate the alleged registration of 8,000 militants by the Peoples Democratic Party for the Edo State governorship election.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, had complained that the PDP registered the alleged number of militants with the aim of using them to cause mayhem during the postponed election.
Oshiomhole, a member of the All Progressives Congress, alleged that the militants were recruited from neighbouring states of Delta and Rivers.
The two states had denied the allegation.
Speaking on the allegation, the commission said that its attention had yet to be drawn to the issue, but said that it was ready to investigate it before the election.
The commission’s Deputy Director in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday.
He said though the commission was not aware of the alleged registration, he nevertheless stated that there was no way the commission would close its ears to such an allegation which he described as grievous.
Dazang said, “The commission is not aware of the allegation that over 8,000 militants were registered as voters for the governorship election in Edo State. This allegation is grievous, but we have not been officially informed.
“We will not close our eyes or ears to such a serious allegation. As soon as it is officially brought to our notice, the commission will swing into action by investigating it.
“We will do everything within our powers and within the law to have a credible election in the state. So, we are waiting to be briefed on the matter.”
The PDP has warned that the alleged registration of militants should not be used to alter the voter register in the state.
It also described the allegation as wild and totally unreasonable, adding that it was a falsehood being peddled by a man who it described as losing the support of the people.
The spokesperson for the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who stated this on Sunday, wondered how the militants could have been registered without the knowledge of the commission that carried out the exercise.
Adeyeye said, “It is good, if the commission can investigate it. At least, Governor Oshiomhole will be able to tell Nigerians where and when the PDP registered the so-called militants.
“Were they registered by INEC? If not, which organisation registered them? Were they registered as voters or as observers? For what purpose? And when did Oshiomhole suddenly discovered the registration of the alleged militants?”