…APC says poll is a sham
By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha
VOTER apathy yesterday characterised the council election held across the 25 local government areas of Delta State.
Our correspondents, who monitored the elections across the state report that polling materials arrived late in some the wards during the exercise that was generally peaceful.
At Uzoigwe Primary School in Asaba, materials were yet to arrive as at 9:15 a.m though a handful of voters were on ground with security presence when our correspondent visited.
At Illah and Okpanam in Oshimili North, materials arrived at about 10.20am and distribution of materials to the various units began almost immediately. Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika said the state was calm, expressing hope that the polls would be peaceful.
In Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area, materials and officials of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) did not arrive voting centres until about 9.30am.
At Akumazi Ward 09 in Ika North-East Local Government Area, voting was concluded as early as 1p.m, with voters saying materials arrived early and that the poll was peaceful. In Ward 09 Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area, voting commenced at about 11a.m.
However, there were claims of election irregularities by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa casting his vote at DSIEC Ward 3; Unit 3, (INEC Ward 2 Unit 1), located at Eghoma Primary School, Owa-Alero in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state, said from the report that he was getting everything was going on peacefully.
Okowa said: “From all the reports I am getting, everything is going on peacefully; materials have been distributed to every local government; the sensitive materials were distributed by Friday and the information that I am getting is that they have all been moved to their various polling units in the various wards.”
After casting his vote at Federal Ward 4, Unit 12 in Okerenkoko Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, said, “Deltans should be expecting credible conduct from the local government council leadership. Times have been challenging but we do hope very strongly that things will pick up and the dividends of democracy will be experienced having gone through this process of electing chairmen and councilors”.
At Osubi, Okpe Local Government Area, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori described the poll as peaceful, commending Deltans for coming out to cast their votes willfully.
State Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye commended DSIEC for making enough electoral materials available. The exercise for now has been very peaceful and turnout is very impressive. We started very early in Ward 10 and this is Unit 8 where I voted.
A leader of the PDP in the State, Olorogun John Oguma said the exercise was credible, commending DSIEC and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the election.
Chairmanship candidate of the PDP in Ughelli South Local Government Council, Dr. Richard Kofi described the election as peaceful, free and fair.
On his part, the Chairmanship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Okpe Local Government Area, Mr. Isaiah Esiovwa, who described the exercise as peaceful.
Former member representing Uvwie constituency at the House of Representatives, Evelyn Oboro said: “The truth is that PDP has done well in Uvwie and the people know, from what I see, PDP is sure of victory because few days ago, strong members of APC joined PDP.”
Chairmanship candidate of the APC, in Isoko South Local Government, Mrs. Hoplyn Ayu, has raised an alarm over what she described as the poor conduct of the election.
She alleged that the electoral materials distributed by DSIEC to most of the wards in the council area were incomplete. “I don’t know how the people are going to vote without materials. We cannot reach the Electoral Officer. At first his phones were ringing and later, it was switched off.
Speaking in the same vein, Olorogun Jaro Egbo described the election as a sham, stressing the need for constitutional amendment to allow the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC conduct local government election.
Chairman of the APC in the local government area, Mr. John Urete, alleged that there were no voting materials in some of the wards, adding that the voter register in some of the wards are fake.
At Aviara where he cast his vote, candidate of the PDP, in Isoko South, Mr. Victor Asasa, described the exercise as peaceful.
Member representing Uvwie constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Solomon Ighrakpata commended the electorates for coming out massively to vote for the polls.
“PDP has done very well in Uvwie , our party is sure of victory. I advise the people to support the government of the day and especially the government led by Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.”
Chairman of the PDP in Isoko South, Chief Godspower Obaro and other chieftains of the party in the council area Chief Ferguson Onwo, Chief Johnson Erijo, Sir Itiako Ikpokpo, expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the election.
Chairman of the PDP in Isoko North, Prince Godwin Ogorugba, also gushed that the election as peaceful, maintaining that his party would have a landslide victory.
He said: “APC never campaigned for the election. PDP has no opposition because PDP is generally accepted.”
At Oyede, the chairmanship candidate of the PDP in Isoko North Mr.Christian Iteire lauded the peaceful conduct of the exercise, expressing optimism that the party would win the election.
He said: “While we did a rigorous campaign, we didn’t see same from the opposition and l believe that we will win with a wide margin.”