From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Ahead of Wednesday bye-election for Warri South constituency I of the Delta State House of Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has distributed voting materials.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Mr. Baritor Kpagi, who made this known in Asaba, said the distribution exercise was monitored by agents of the various political parties.
According to him, each party agent took part in the opening of the 15 cartons containing the materials, adding that the party representatives also took serial numbers of the materials before they were taken to Warri under police escort.
Calling on political parties to play their parts well before, during and after the elections, Kpagi insisted that the commission could not conduct a free, fair and credible election alone, hence, the presence of the political party agents.
“It is high time Nigerians began not to expect the presence of security operatives during elections because we are not going to war,” he stated.
Two party agents including Alex Ufuoma of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Michael Tidi of the Accord Party expressed satisfaction with the distribution exercise, saying that they were pleased with the development.
Recall that the bye-election was occasioned by the death of Mrs. Beatrice Omawumi Udoh who represented the constituency until last December.
Speaker of the House, Mr. Monday Igbuya had in March, this year, after the final burial rites of the deceased lawmaker, wrote INEC declaring the seat vacant.
Meanwhile, the All Progressive Congress (APC) has called on security agencies to provide comprehensive coverage to forestall and prevent any loss of lives or damage to property during the election.
In a statement by the party’s acting publicity secretary in the state, Leo Obibi vowed that APC can not be deterred by the effort of other political parties to undermine the election.
He said APC will resist any attempt to rig the election, adding that the party is confident of victory if the election is free and fair.