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Interview: How Obaseki and PDP Rigged Edo LG Elections – Julius Oshawo Omomoh

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Julius Oshawo Omomoh hails from Edo State, specifically Iyora-Uzairue in Etsako West. He is a multifaceted Professional with a passion for content creation, event hosting, and a knack for bringing stories to life as a Movie producer. Beyond his creative talents, Julius has immersed himself in the realm of grassroots politics. He is currently the Edo State Coordinator of the Peter Obi Support Team (POST). His unwavering commitment to a better Nigeria has driven him to actively engage in grassroots politics, where he contested the councilorship seat for Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area during the just concluded local government elections in Edo State. In this exclusive interview with Parallel Facts, we delve into Julius Oshawo Omomoh’s political journey, aspirations, and unique perspective on the intersection of creativity and politics, as well as his thoughts on the recently held local government elections in the state.

Parallel Facts: Mr Julius Oshawo Momoh, Can you tell us about your journey into local politics? What motivated you to get involved in the first place?

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: My motivation is a strong desire to make a difference in local communities, which drove me into grassroots politics. As the saying goes, “Politics is local,” and I firmly believe that addressing the shortcomings of our local government is essential to addressing the broader challenges we face today in the state. The hardships faced by our people—high numbers of out-of-school children in our villages, clans, and Hamlets, an increasing youth unemployment rate, and inadequate support for our elderly farmers—served as the driving force behind my decision to enter local politics. I want to be a catalyst for change and bring real improvements to the lives of the people in my communities.

Parallel Facts: What specific accomplishments or initiatives have you undertaken during your time in local politics that you’re particularly proud of?

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: During my campaign, I experienced a profound sense of happiness. It’s a feeling akin to that of a champion, as I got the chance to connect with our grassroots communities. Campaigning offers a unique opportunity to intimately understand their most pressing concerns, and this knowledge fuels my motivation.

However, my happiest campaign memory goes beyond the typical campaign rhetoric. It was the moment I orchestrated a free medical outreach in the villages within my ward where I organized a team of medical professionals to conduct health check-ups, and provided free drugs to the sick. Witnessing the joy and fulfillment on the faces of our people during this outreach was incredibly gratifying. Their well-being became my happiness, and it reinforced my commitment to making a positive impact in these underserved communities.

Julius Oshawo Omomoh compressed
Julius Oshawo Omomoh

Parallel Facts: You are from Etsako West, the powerhouse of Edo North politics. Coming from the ward with Senator Adams Oshiomole and being in different political parties, how has the trip been thus far?

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: It has been an incredibly challenging task for me to navigate the political landscape in our ward, where Senator Adams Aliu Oshoimole, the former governor of the state and former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hails from. His longstanding presence in the ward and his contributions, both within and outside the area, have made the situation complex. Senator Oshoimole is the driving force behind the APC, and his role in the development of Edo State is not in doubt. As a result, there is a strong desire among the people to align themselves with the APC.

However, as a politician, I saw the necessity of presenting an alternative option to our people. I believed that it was time to consider the Labour Party as a viable choice and alternative. I acknowledged Senator Oshoimole’s past contributions and highlighted the fact that every era needs a fresh start. It’s worth noting that Senator Oshoimole himself began his political journey with the Labour Party, underscoring its potential for change.

I had my work cut out for me during the campaigns. Our team instilled confidence in the Labour Party as the party that could alleviate our suffering and bring succor to our people. I engaged with our people, emphasizing that it was time to look beyond past accomplishments and consider the future. Ultimately, they entrusted me with their votes, recognizing the potential for change that the Labour Party represented.

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: What transpired on that day was a stark violation of democratic principles, where the genuine will of the people was forcibly obstructed. The sequence of events began with the brazen act of armed individuals seizing ballot papers, followed by the presiding officers (PO) refusing to proceed to the collation center to collate the results before they could be officially announced. At this moment, the election results remain uncollated and undisclosed. However, it’s alarming that the PDP has already claimed victory across the entire state, casting a troubling shadow on our nascent democracy.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that voting materials were not delivered to opposition strongholds, and when they were, they came late. It is deeply disheartening to witness such undemocratic actions perpetrated by the PDP, the party currently in power in the state. This raises serious questions about the extent to which they are willing to compromise democratic values in their pursuit of retaining power in the upcoming 2024 governorship elections. In essence, what transpired on that day represents a grave affront to our democratic process and the rights of the people to freely express their political choices.

The PDP’s performance in the last Local Government election was far from impressive, as they failed to secure a single local government seat. It is evident to many observers that the election was marred by rigging and manipulation, with the ruling party appointing known PDP card-carrying members and chieftains as EDSIEC returning officers.
Such electoral misconduct raises serious concerns about the fairness and integrity of the process.

When the party in power resorts to rigging and manipulation to maintain its dominance, it undermines the democratic principles that should guide our political system. It is crucial that such actions are thoroughly investigated and addressed to ensure that future elections are conducted in a free and fair manner, allowing the people’s voices to be heard and respected. Upholding the principles of democracy is essential for a healthy and functioning political system. Governor Obaseki is a product of free and fair elections, and why he organized this sham is very baffling and calls for serious concern.

It is very obvious, evidence of rigging are all over the internet. For example, in Etsako West Local Government, the number of ballot papers supplied to each polling Unit was 100. We have 322 polling units; multiply it by 100, and it gives you 32,200. What this means is that the total votes cast must not exceed the number of materials supplied. But EDSIEC Returned PDP's Zibiri Marvelous as the winner of the council election with 98,046 votes, then allocated 29,445 votes to the APC and 23,832 votes to the LP. If you sum these figures together, that's 151,323 votes. Now let's assume all 32,200 ballots supplied by EDSIEC were used; subtract them from the total number of votes declared by EDSIEC, which will now stand at 119,123 votes. Where did Obaseki and his EDSIEC get 119,123 votes from? How can the figures declared be more than the number of Ballots supplied by EDSIEC?

There are videos regarding this very situation, and I feel speaking up will let them know that we are fully aware of what happened on that very day. We have full evidence of everything they did on election day.

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: It is very obvious, evidence of rigging are all over the internet. For example, in Etsako West Local Government, the number of ballot papers supplied to each polling Unit was 100. We have 322 polling units; multiply it by 100, and it gives you 32,200. What this means is that the total votes cast must not exceed the number of materials supplied. But EDSIEC Returned PDP’s Zibiri Marvelous as the winner of the council election with 98,046 votes, then allocated 29,445 votes to the APC and 23,832 votes to the LP.

If you sum these figures together, that’s 151,323 votes. Now let’s assume all 32,200 ballots supplied by EDSIEC were used; subtract them from the total number of votes declared by EDSIEC, which will now stand at 119,123 votes. Where did Obaseki and his EDSIEC get 119,123 votes from? How can the figures declared be more than the number of Ballots supplied by EDSIEC?

There are videos regarding this very situation, and I feel speaking up will let them know that we are fully aware of what happened on that very day. We have full evidence of everything they did on election day.

Parallel Facts: As Edo State Coordinator, Peter Obi Support Team POST, what role can support groups play in subsequent elections in the state?

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: The support groups played a pivotal role in the last presidential election, and their commitment to continuing their efforts in the upcoming governorship election is highly commendable. Their dedication to voter mobilization and awareness campaigns will undoubtedly have a substantial impact on the electoral landscape next year.
It’s crucial to acknowledge that these support groups serve as the foundation upon which the Labour Party can further strengthen its capacity.

As we approach the governorship election, the collective efforts of the support groups and the Labour Party will be instrumental in shaping the outcome. Their role in engaging with voters, raising awareness, and mobilizing the electorate is invaluable in ensuring a fair and democratic electoral process. By working together, we can help build a stronger, more inclusive political system that represents the will of the people and addresses their concerns effectively.

Parallel Facts: What’s your message for other young aspiring politicians out there?

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: My message to them is very clear: we all seek better governance, and we can never get it by looking and complaining. We need to get into the system by any means possible because these old politicians are not ready to make this transition easy, but with determination and consistency, we will surely have a chance to change the political narrative.

Parallel Facts: Thank you very much for your time.

Julius Oshawo Omomoh: You are welcome.

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