…As APC, PDP, bicker over card reader failure
By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha
THE House of Assembly by-election into the Isoko North constituency, Delta State, held Saturday was peaceful as voters turned out en mass to exercise their franchise.
Our correspondents who monitored the exercise, reports that electoral materials started leaving the Registration Area Centres, RACs at 7 am to the various polling units in the constituency, while accreditation of voters began in some of the units at about 8.30 am.
There were, however, initial hiccups in some of the polling units due to card read failure during the exercise.
Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the constituency, Chief Goodnews Agbi, said the card readers “were deliberately made not to work to give the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leverage to thumbprint ballot papers.”
Alleging that there was massive thumbprinting of ballot papers in the various units by the PDP, Agbi said: “In Ozoro ward 2, they tore the clothes of one of our agents and it was the deliberate plan of the PDP to thumbprint.”
Reacting to the allegation, Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Media, Mr. Nelson Egware said: “Is PDP INEC? What is the fault of PDP? If card readers are not working, should PDP be blamed?
He described the allegations as “part of their usual lies. When someone is falling, they usually look for something to hold on to. Those accusations are mere last kicks of a dying horse.
“In my unit, card readers are working and people are voting. There is nothing like thumbprinting of ballot papers here and l believe that it is the same thing across the wards in the constituency.
Addressing newsmen shortly after casting his vote in his Otibio unit 3, Chairman of the PDP in Isoko North Local Government Area, Prince Godwin Ogorugba expressed satisfaction with the large turnout of voters for the exercise.
He said: “I can assure you that PDP will win. This is a predominantly PDP area and the party candidate is well accepted. PDP has never lost any election in Isoko North.
“The performance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has really energized the people to vote PDP. The achievements of the governor speak volumes”
On his part, the PDP candidate in the by-election, Mr. Jude Ogbimi, who voted in Otibio unit 2, said he was impressed with the peaceful conduct of the election.
“My party, the PDP, is a great party. Delta State is PDP,” he said, adding that “By the grace of God, l will win the election.”