March 18, 2023

POLLS: 5 feared dead, 1 injured, house razed, as hostilities erupt in Delta

*Oborevwori, Omo-Agege, Ogboru, Gbagi, Pela assure of victory

*INEC rigged me out,  Agbi screams   

*PDP, and APC raise the alarm over violence

 FIVE persons reportedly lost their lives in yesterday’s Governorship and House of Assembly elections at Mosogar, and Oghara, both in  Ethiope West Local Government Area of  Delta State.

Reports said four persons were shot dead at Mosogar and one at Oghara.  Suspected political thugs torched the residence of a former chair of Ethiope West local government, Dr. Wilson Omene, an All Progressives Congress, APC leader in the state.

At Evwreni, Ughelli North local government area, thugs went on the rampage, attacked INEC officials, and destroyed about three BVAS machines and electoral materials.

Some electoral officials sustained injuries, while the incident disrupted voting in polling units in the area.

The rampaging thugs prevented a team of journalists monitoring the elections from entering the community by the rampaging thugs.

Sources said some security personnel, who deployed to the community compromised, and they supervised the disruption process.

Circumstances surrounding the Mosogar violence were blurred, but sources said the deceased persons died after an exchange of gunfire between security operatives and irate youths.

Some youths also threatened to revenge the death of one Oburuche, just as Omene accused a member of the opposition party of being behind the attack on his house and car.

At Amukpe, near Sapele, a youth allegedly lost his hand during a clash in one of the polling units in the area

However, unlike the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly polls, there was a low turnout of voters, yesterday, but electoral materials arrived early at various polling units across the state.

 Reports said the polling materials arrived at the various RAC Centres on Friday, and as of 7.00 am, officials of the INEC had begun the distribution of the items to the various units.

As early as 10 am voting and accreditation had taken place in several polling units in Warri, Uvwie, and other parts of the state.

Some electorate stayed out of the exercise, saying they doubted the sincerity of the electoral umpire.

There was a noticeably high presence of security operatives in Asaba, the state capital, Ogwashi-Uku, Kwale, Oleh, Ozoro, Agbor, Ughelli, Obiaruku, and Aboh, as voting commenced between 8 am and 8.30 am in the areas.

 Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who voted at his unit 17, ward 02 (Eghoma Primary School), Owa-Alero in Ika North-East local government area at 9.50 am, noted: “Everything is working perfectly here. However, there are a few issues of persons unable to get to their units because of restrictions, but we hope they are able to meet up before the close of the election.”

 “Security agents are on red alert because of reports of people planning to disrupt the exercise. Some people are trying to impersonate the military. Therefore, we are calling on the security agents to be on the lookout. Everywhere appears to be very comfortable and calm.”

 The governor’s daughter and House of Assembly candidate of the PDP for Ika North-East constituency, Marilyn Daramola, who also voted at the same center with his father, expressed optimism that the party would triumph in both the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

 The gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who voted at Oha ward one, Unit 33, Osubi, Okpe Local Government Area of the State at exactly 9:30 am, expressed optimism that he would win, adding that his party had worked so hard for it.

 Oborevwori said he expected that the INEC would conduct the exercise correctly and peacefully across the state, stressing that every critical stakeholder must strive to strengthen the democratic process in Nigeria.

The governorship candidate of the APC in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who cast his vote at his Orogun Ward 2 Unit 19, Ughelli North LGA at 11:11 am, expressed optimism that his party would win in the polls.

 Omo-Agege said: “We believe that we are going to win at the end of the day, no doubt about that; this has been the feelers for more than a month and the momentum was there all along coming into the polls today, so l expect that at the end of the day, we would be declared the winner.”

 “PDP entered into this contest with a determination to ensure that attacks are launched on polling units across the state, most especially in Delta Central to destroy the votes.

 “We have received reports of those attacks in polling units in Evwreni, Ughelli South, Oteri, and of course, there has been some mischief since last night in Gbaramatu and Oporoza in Warri South West.”

 The governorship candidate of APGA, Chief Great Ogboru said: “Until this time, it has been peaceful. So let us see the situation later in the day. Let us hear the results if the uploading of the results of the unit will take place before we can start to judge.”

 “But the verification in the voting process was okay because the BVAS worked. It captured my thumbprint,” he added.

 In addition, the governorship candidates of the SDP and LP, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, and Mr. Ken Pela respectively, expressed optimism that they would win the election.

The governorship candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Sir Goodnews Agbi, said the INEC systematically him out through the placement of a faded logo of his party in the ballot paper.

Agbi, who spoke after voting at Ikruvuha quarters, Oyede Ward 12, unit 3, said he had briefed his legal team to study the circumstances and filed a case against INEC over the development.