By Ovasa Ogaga & Akowel Wealth
…calls for amendment of the laws to empower State Governors to appoint LGA Chairmen, Councilors
Member of House of Representative, Rt Rev Hon Francis Ejiroghene Waive and a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress in Delta State, Olorogun Jaro Egbo, have described the local government election conducted in Delta State as a complete sham and a colossal waste of state resource.
The two APC leaders who spoke separately on the outcome of the Saturday Delta LG election, called on the National and State Houses of Assembly to amend the law to empower State Governors to appoint LGA Chairmen, Councilors or in the alternative mandates INEC to conducts all elections in the country.
Waive, who represents Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu constituency in the House of Reps decries a situation where voting materials were not delivered at 4pm to his polling units, yet results will be declared.
He frowned at the way local government elections are conducted across the country, where the ruling party in each State ‘wins’ all LGAs positions, describing it as a “mockery of our democracy.”
According him, “Today 6th March 2021 being Local Government Election Day in Delta State, voting materials were not delivered at 4pm at my polling unit when the exercise ended. Yet results will be declared.
“Local government elections have become a mockery of our democracy as the ruling party in each State ‘wins’ all LGAs.
“Attempts to correct this by the National Assembly have always failed as the constitutionally required two third State Houses of Assembly never votes in support.
“The way out in my view is for the State Houses of Assembly to amend the law governing Local Governments to empower their State Governors to appoint LG Chairmen and Councilors as this will be cheaper, less rancorous and legalize the present illegality and sham called Local Government elections.
On his part, Olorogun Jaro Egbo, APC House of Assembly Candidate for Ughelli North Constituency 11 in the 2019 general elections lashed the Delta State Government and the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC), for conducting what he called sham election.
Egbo stated this while briefing newsmen, at DESIEC office at Ughelli where he and other APC leaders and members waited for hours for the distribution of voting material without any result, said he was not satisfied with the conduct of the local government election by DESIEC.
He berated the Delta State PDP led government for not having the courage to conduct free, fair and credible elections, but enjoys the outcome of credible election conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He, therefore, advocates for the scrapping of State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) to allow INEC conduct the local government elections, or in the alternative, amend the constitution to enable State Governors to appoint LGA Chairmen, Councilors to save to cost of conducting LG elections.
According to him, as far as we are concern, there was no local government election in Delta State.
“As early as 8am, we were at Ughelli DSIEC office, we met with the Police Area Commander, DPO and the head of SSS and we were told that they were all there to maintain peace and that they had not seen anybody at the office. So, we left there, DSIEC official didn’t show up nor electoral material.
“I still maintain my earlier stands, that rather the waste of money, in Billions of Naira every three years conducting this sham called election, now that we have the opportunity to amend the constitution, they should amend in such a way, as to give the state governors the power to appoints the Local government Chairmen and Councilors, in order to save funds and avoid wasting peoples time.
“In the alternative, they should amend the constitution to allow INEC to conduct all elections in the country, because what they are doing now is a complete sham.
“If PDP believes that they are popular, they should have come to the grassroot to test their popularity.
“Despite the challenges of the APC in Delta State, we were prepare to give the PDP a run for their money, but they failed to bring voting material to conduct the elections.
“It’s is very clear that we are very much on ground and that is why they refused to bring those material, so for us, there was no election.
“As at today, there was no election, but by tomorrow, they will announce results, that will not come to us as a surprise.
“When you confront PDP in the state, their answer would be, that’s what is done in other states, if you know that what they are doing is wrong, why can’t you do things differently.
“So, from our position, it was a complete failure and a sham, there was no election.”
Egbo enjoined the candidates of APC to test the outcome of the election in court as it will help in deepening the country’s democracy.