From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A former Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ochei, has raised the alarm over alleged plans by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to doctor the result of Saturday’s local government election in favour of its candidates.
Ochei, a chieftain of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), alleged that the PDP was already plotting to manipulate the entire process, and dared the ruling party to allow the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) do its job if they are popular.
He said: “I want to tell them today, I dare the PDP in Delta State that if they think that they are on ground let them allow a free and fair election, let us see. Then they will rightly test and see how they are on the ground in Delta.
“But if they go around writing the results like they want to do, which they are already planning for no matter what they want to try to cover up. Let them go and let the materials get to the field and let them count the real results and let us see how many seat that PDP will clinch.
“I dare them. If PDP claims they are on ground in Delta State, let them have a proper election let us see where they stand. But if DSIEC try to play the master’s tune, I will not say anything more but my party the APC will take a position and very soon the position will be made public.”
However, the PDP led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, had during campaigns, insisted that no it depended on the achievements of successive PDP administrations in the state and its grass root oriented campaigns to secure a landslide victory at Saturday’s election.
Okowa told a campaign rally at Iselle-Uku, Aniocha North council area during the flag-off of its campaign for the election that election result will neither be written nor manipulated by PDP, expressing confidence that DSIEC will provide the needed level playing fielding for all parties.
Regardless, the former Speaker, who spoke in Asaba, tasked the chairman and members of DSIEC to uphold their integrity, which he insisted, was at stake in Saturday’s election, noting that posterity will judge them rightly or wrongly depending on how they manage the process.
“I will only tell DSIEC and their chairman that their integrities are at stake. Whatever they do today, Deltans will hold them in posterity. If they do it right, posterity will judge them right. If they do it wrongly, posterity will judge them wrongly.
“It is not about themselves but their children and children’s children to come. So, I will advise them even at the pressure of whatever, they should remember that by law they are independent and should maintain independence,” Ochei cautioned.
He said Deltans want election to develop grassroots democracy, and urged DSIEC and the state government to allow peoples votes to count, saying “you don’t come and pay lip service to it and talk so much about it and then go to a meeting in Ughelli and say you want to write the whole results like they wrote in Akwa-Ibom. It is a shame.”
“They seem to glory in it. It is wrong and it is high time we rose up as people (citizens) and tell the truth, we don’t care who is involved. If the governor is not doing well, tell him he is not doing well. He is a Deltan, we voted him, he is holding our mandate in trust and if he messes up with the mandate, we throw him out,” he added.
As at time of filing this report, efforts to reach the state’s Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Michael Osuoza to react to the allegation were unsuccessful as calls to his mobile telephone line did not go through.