THE political spectrum in Delta State has been charged ahead of the January 6, 2018 local government council election with the political parties and stakeholders touring the nooks and crannies of the state, canvassing for votes.
By Festus Ahon
Since the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC announced the date of the election, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, All Progressives Congress, APC, Accord, Mega People’s Progressive Party, MPPP and others have been strategizing on how to win.
DSIEC has erected billboards in strategic areas in the state to sensitize the electorate, urging the key players to go about their campaigns peacefully.
Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Mike Ogbodu had at different fora told Deltans to embrace peace in the course of the election.
With the conclusion of the screening of chairmanship and councillorship candidates for the election and final list of eligible candidates published, all is now set for the election.
Ogbodu had at a meeting with representatives of all the registered political parties and other stakeholders in the state, said that the choice of the date was informed by the need to comply with the current DSIEC amended law 2017, noting that the new law has paved the way for the current election process being embarked on by the commission.
He said that the commission would always seek the cooperation of all stakeholders and keep to the rules of engagement in the conduct of elections by complying with various processes that are in tandem with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
While seeking the support of various stakeholders in the state with a view to conducting a peaceful, credible and acceptable election, Ogbodu said “DSIEC will provide a level- playing ground for all parties and aspirants to test their popularity in the eyes of the electorate.”
He said the Commission has commenced various activities that would enable it deliver on schedule, adding, “to this end, we have commenced the various activities including the acquisition of the current register of voters from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, perfected arrangements for procurement and purchase of sensitive and non-sensitive electoral materials among others.”
Meanwhile, the PDP had flagged off its campaign about a month vowing its readiness for the election. Speaking during the ceremony at Akwukwu-Igbo, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said: “We believe in democracy and strongly believe that people’s votes must count in every election. We will campaign vigorously. We started early and will sustain the tempo till the end.
“You cannot sit in your house and expect to win elections. You have to tell the people what you have for them. So for us in PDP, in every election, because we believe in the people, we have the people, we will always win.
“As an elder, let your result speak for you. Go out there and campaign, let nobody intimidate you. No result is written elsewhere. Your votes must count, it is when we work together that we will achieve better results.”
Commending the people for their support for his administration, he assured the people that the PDP government will continue to deliver on its electoral promises.
Chairman of the PDP in the state, Mr. Kingsley Esiso, expressed confidence that the PDP will win in the polls.
He said: “There is no other political party in the state. APC and the other political parties should come out and campaign.” Meanwhile, the APC grassroots movement in Delta State has alleged a plan by the ruling PDP in the state to compromise DSIEC to rig the local council polls.
The APC group in a statement signed by its chairman, Mr Omare Eyifoma, also passed a vote of no confidence in the Commission.
To this end, Eyifoma called on the Federal Government and security agencies to ensure that measures are put in place to avert the alleged plan of the PDP-led government in the state to rig the election.
He said the APC will not allow election malpractice in the January 6, 2018 local government election.