By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has condemned the alleged attempt by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) to subvert the will of the people of Umutu Ward 17 in Ukwuani Local Government of Delta State in the March 6, Local Government Council elections.
IPAC in a statement issued by its national Chairman, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa and the national Secretary Yusuf Dantalle said that the keenly contested election was confirmed to have been won by the councillorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Mr. Enudu Eugene Chukwuka.
According to the statement, “While one of the core mandates of the Inter-Party Advisory Council is to deepen our nascent democracy, the current leadership will not in anyway sacrifice the legitimate mandate of lawful candidates irrespective of their political party on the altar of political correctness as any attempt to suppress the collective will of Nigerian voters at all levels will be heavily resisted.
“The Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) is implored to resist the temptation of being hijacked by desperate failed political actors and immediately announce the winner of the election as anything contrary may have dire consequences.
” We call on civil society organizations and other critical stakeholders to intervene through aggressive advocacy so as to salvage the planned pilfering of an electoral mandate and also to ensure that this case in view serves as a deterrent to other State Independent Electoral Commissions with the penchant for organising charades in the name elections.
“The Delta State chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council is by the aforementioned call directed to take all necessary actions within the ambits of the law to defend our democracy and ensure that the plan to subvert the will of the people is halted.
” Furthermore, the ongoing electoral amendment should empower INEC in place of SIECs to conduct all local government elections in the country while simultaneously adopting an electronic voting system so that the sanctity of the ballot box and our electoral process can be guaranteed.
“Conclusively, we appeal to all aggrieved voters in Ukwuani Local Government of Delta State to eschew violence but stand unapologetically by their mandate through peaceful means while calling on the law enforcement agencies to maintain neutrality and peace.”
It will be recalled that the national leadership of the NNPP had earlier urged the DSIEC to declare its councillorship candidate for the Ward 17 as winner of the election to avoid violence as tension was said to have started building up as a result of the alleged attempt by the state electoral umpire in collaboration with some political actors to change the result.