By Jimitota Onoyume, Festus Ahon, Ochuko Akuopha & Perez Brisibe
ASABA—All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, called for the cancellation of last Saturday’s local government elections in Delta State conducted by the state Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC, describing the elections as a sham and fraud.
The party also resolved to boycott today’s rescheduled election in Ughelli North and Ethiope East Local Government Areas.
But the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a swift reaction, said the APC was free to boycott the election, saying the APC was not the only party in the state.
The Organizing Secretary of the PDP in the state, Chief Sunday Onoriode, said: “If the APC decides to boycott the rescheduled election in Ughelli North and Ethiope East, it is their business. There are other parties taking part in the election.”
On the call for the cancellation of the entire election, Onoriode said: “Once an election is conducted, it cannot be cancelled. If the APC is not satisfied with the conduct of the election, it can go to court. It should not call for the cancellation of a credible election that was conducted by DSIEC.”
Briefing newsmen after a closed-door meeting at the Evwreni country home of the leader of the party in the state, Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor, Chairman of the APC in the state, Prophet Jones Erue, accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of allegedly “rigging his own election by confiscating all sensitive election materials including result sheets and then resorted to writing all the results and handing same to DSIEC to announce.
“In the attempt by the APC to insist on all sensitive materials including result sheets to be provided to allow a free and fair election, the PDP resorted to violence that was witnessed throughout the 25 local government areas of the state. In summary, no elections took place anywhere in Delta State.”
Erue said “We demanded and still demand for a total cancellation of the sham elections in all the 25 local government areas in Delta State.”
Giving reasons for boycotting today’s rescheduled election, he said: “To purportedly direct for a re-run in only Ughelli North and Ethiope East, is a subterfuge for the validation and authentification of the sham elections in the other 23 local government areas. In the circumstances, we therefore condemn the grotesque and brazen sabotage of the will of the people of Delta State in the so-called election that Okowa and his lackeys in DSIEC organised.