…Commends Okowa for fair exercise
…Says PDP protest votes gave victory to NNPP candidate
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
National leadership of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, has rejected the result of the councillorship election for Ward 17 in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State in the Saturday, March 6 council polls.
But the party also commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for a fair exercise and appealed to him to intervene by ensuring that the candidate of the NNPP, who allegedly won the election was declared to avoid any outbreak of violence in the area.
Briefing journalists on Monday in Abuja, the national Chairman of NNPP, Ambassador Agbo Major said that the councillorship position was more important to the party even more than the presidential election because it was closer to the grassroots than any other position.
Ambassador Major said, “You are all aware that the Delta State Local Government election was conducted by the State Independent Electoral Commission on Saturday 6th March 2021. Our great Party, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) participated in the election and carried out extensive grassroots campaign across the State and was optimistic to win some chairmanship and councillorship seats having fielded credible candidates with progressive manifesto anchored on the Party’s nationally acclaimed social contract with Nigerians.
“Despite obvious irregularities associated with elections conducted by the 36 State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), and our firm belief in the democratic process, our Party participated in this election with a view to deepening and strengthening the nation’s representative governance at the Local Government level which is the foundation and bedrock of democratic governance.
“The good people of Delta State demanded a change and voted massively for change which the New Nigeria People’s Party represents in this election.
“Reports from our Party agents across the State showed that the electorate voted overwhelmingly for NNPP and its candidate, Enudu Eugene Chukwuka, particularly at Umutu Polling Units 6- 9, in Ukwuani Local Government Area, where the Party scored the highest votes cast and clearly won the Councillorship seat.
“The official results from these polling units are as follows: Unit 6
PDP – 67, NNPP – 108. Unit 7, PDP – 80, NNPP – 103. Unit 8, PDP – 53,
NNPP – 69. Unit 9, PDP – 64, NNPP – 89. Total votes cast for PDP = 264.
Total votes cast for NNPP = 369
NNPP defeated PDP with 105 votes.
“It is evident that our great Party won the Councillorship seat and should be declared winner by the Returning Officer of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission as the polling units results had already been declared.
“The people’s mandate in any election is sacrosanct. The ballot is sacred. Any attempt to thwart the will of the people expressed through the ballot box must be resisted. The mandate of the people is not negotiable and definitely not for the highest bidder no matter how highly placed in government and in the society.
“Nigerians can no longer be taken for granted and their votes stolen by political buccaneers masquerading as democrats to hoodwink unsuspecting citizens. It must be resisted for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.”
He said the reason for the media briefing was” to let the nation know the attempt by failed, expired and recycled politicians and their co-travelers to subvert the will and mandate of the people to NNPP in DSIEC Ward 17, Umutu.
“The Party demands the immediate declaration of the full result in ….. Ward. It is manifest that our great Party won the Councillorship seat as the Party is in possession of the polling units results fully endorsed by political parties’ agents and relevant stakeholders.
“The people have strongly resisted inglorious and unpatriotic efforts to steal the votes and manipulate the polling units results in favour of the party they rejected in the election. This wicked affront on the people on whom power resides will not stand.
“The people are ready to defend their votes and ensure they count in the overall result. They trooped out to the streets on Sunday 7th March 2021, to protest the broad day rigging and manipulation of results in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that lost the election in DSIEC Ward 17, Umutu by corrupt, unpatriotic officials of Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, that is far from independent.
“The protest by voters despite intimidation and harassment by compromised security agents is a welcome development in our emerging democracy and in tandem with Section 14(2)a of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, which provides, “Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority”. Section 14(2)c states that ” the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution “.
“The people had exercised their civil responsibility and franchise by voting for NNPP in DSIEC Ward 17, Umutu ensured that their votes were counted, are in possession of the polling units results and now demand the declaration of the Ward result and NNPP as winner.
“The New Nigeria People’s Party warns in strong terms against the alteration and doctoring of the DSICE Ward 17, Umutu result to avoid the disturbance of the peace in the State which may derail the nation’s frail democracy in the face of grave security challenges in the country.”
He said that” NNPP will not trade off its Councillorship seat for any reason whatsoever and will resist any attempt to subvert the clear mandate of the people to the Party that is strongly determined to enthrone genuine democracy to oppressed, suppressed and longsuffering compatriots.
“It is this flagrant assault on the nation’s democracy that led to the calls for the scrapping of the so-called State Independent Electoral Commissions that have all become extensions of various State Government Houses and rubber stamps of the governors, thus making a mockery of the nation’s democratic encounter.
“On 6th February 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deregistered 74 political parties that didn’t win at least a councillorship seat among others.
“How will any political party not in government win elections at the Local Government level when the ruling party in that State predetermine the outcome of the election and further seeks to upturn and manipulate polling units results already announced to perpetually remain in power?
“It is obvious that Nigeria’s democracy is in danger by the subversive actions of various SIECs. This must stop forthwith for the survival of our constitutional rule.
“NNPP calls on the National Assembly to scrap SIECs in the ongoing Constitutional and Electoral Act amendments. In its place, INEC should conduct all elections in the country and adopt electronic voting system to guarantee the sanctity of the ballot box and the electoral process. Any election conducted short of this is a mere charade and further attack on our frail democracy.”
“NNPP urges lovers of sustainable democracy in Nigeria to prevail on the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission to declare the authentic result of DSIEC Ward 17, Umutu immediately in national interest and consolidation of our democracy.
“NNPP won the election and should be declared winner to avoid anarchy as the people are already in the streets defending their votes, demanding the release of the DSIEC Ward 17, Umutu result and protesting against its manipulation by the SIEC in collaboration with security agents and failed politicians. A stitch in time saves nine.”
The party said that its candidate in Ward 17 defeated the PDP candidate despite the fact that the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly was from the area, adding that the NNPP candidate was voted by both its party members and the PDP members who also rejected the person presented by the party.
Describing Governor Okowa as a gentleman, the party said his timely intervention to ensure that the rightful person that won the election was declared could help to reduce the building tension in the area.