From: Ben Dunno, Warri
The Coalition of Civil Society Group that monitored the last Saturday’s Delta State Local Government elections has called for the cancellation of the election over issues that bothers on irregularities, violence and disenfranchisement of the voters due to nonavailability of electoral materials during voting period.
It therefore called on the Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeayin Okowa to commence the process of conducting another credible election in order to preserve the integrity of both the state government and that of the Delta state Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC).
Making the observation known at a press conference held in Warri, on Sunday, the body noted that it would be a shame for the state government to sweep the obvious irregularities and violence that characterized the election under the carpet and pretend that all was well with the elections.
The Coalition Coordinator, Mr. Friday Maduka, in an address delivered, noted that their observations were made based on the field report from its officers across the three (3) senatorial districts which include the Delta North, South and Central, who monitored the elections from the beginning to the end.
In his reaction, the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and a Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state, Pastor PZ Aginighan, who faulted the entire process and called for the outright rejection of the result by the opposition APC in the state.
According to him, “As at 3pm today 6th January 2018, when voting officially closed in the Delta State Local Government Elections, I can categorically report that there was no election in Bomadi, Burutu and Patani Local Government Areas”.
“At Ogodobri and Ezebri communities Wards 18 and 19, where I was present to cast my vote, no official of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission was seen in any of the units. The story is the same for almost the entire Ijaw territory of Delta State’.
“I have it on good authority that, in an attempt to subvert the democratic will of the people, DSIEC officials assigned the responsibility to conduct the elections connived with the Peoples Democratic Party to rig the elections through a plot to thumbprint our ballot papers in unknown locations and announce election results”.
“I unequivocally condemn this primitive approach to politics and declare that the All Progressives Congress APC will reject any result that emanates from such a kangaroo process”, he stated.
On allegation of fake result sheets in circulation, multiple sources hinted that result sheets which are in circulation in some part of the state, particularly in Sapele are different from the ones DSIEC used during the training of their selected adhoc staff.
A source said that in Sapele council no result sheets accompanied the materials which were yet to be released as at 10am. “Some fake result sheets sighted were different from what was shown to political party members during DSIEC training sessions”, the source said.
APC Chairmanship candidate in Uvwie, Ufuoma Okenini alleged that soldiers were deployed to intimidate eligible voters in his council area, describing the electoral exercise as a sham.
He said that fake result sheets were in circulation and in some part of the council DSIEC official were not on ground to conduct the election.
Also an APC members, Anthony Ajukuta lamented that materials were hidden at Otu-jeremi council Police Station which was guided by both soldiers, civil defence operatives and conventional police officers, thereby making it difficult to be access by party agents at the various polling stations in the area.
He called for the rejection of the results that would be released by DSIEC as it does not represent the wish of the people in the area, adding that all the figures that would be released at the end of the exercise were figures that were already assigned long before the elections.
But in his swift reaction to the issue of fake report sheet, the Warri South PDP Chairmanship Candidate, Mr. Micheal Tidi, dismissed the allegations as a mere excuse of failure by the opposition APC who he claimed are not on ground and did not carry out any campaign to sensitize the people.
He explained that while the opposition were sleeping and chasing shadows the PDP campaign team went round the entire council areas in the state reeling out their manifestos and making commitment to the electorates on what they stand to gain if the PDP candidates are voted into office.