By Ovasa Ogaga,
The All Progressive Congress in Delta State, has described the Local Council election held on Saturday as a total sham, while its PDP counterpart claims that it won the election free and square.
The APC Delta State Chairman, Prophet Jones Ode Erue in a press statement stated that the election conducted by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC, was a total sham that cannot stand the test of a credible, free and fair election as required by democratic principles.
Erue accused the electoral umpire DSIEC of connivance with the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to perpetuate “a greedy and political dynasty that is already gasping for life.”
According to him, the election was conducted in substantial non-compliance with the provisions set out in the DSIEC Law 2017 for the following none provision of sensitive election materials as expected in most of the polling units where the actual elections were due to take place.
Erue added that, “where materials were even delivered, they did not arrive on time as most were hijacked and re-directed along the way, and it was observed upon a close examination that the result sheets did not accompany the materials in most of the LGAs:
“Where result sheets were produced, they were in sharp contrast with the samples that were presented to our party officials during the DSIEC training exercise, and so were fake.
He also alleged that, “many Returning Officers were not at the Polling Units to conduct the elections nor to announce the outcome. For example, a DSIEC Returning Officer at Ozoro in Isoko North Local Government Area was arrested at a Hotel Annex in Ozoro facilitating illegal thumb-printing of votes, and was handed over to the Nigeria Police at Ozoro.
“Violence marred the elections in a large number of LGAs and Wards where election was due to take place; in fact, we gathered that the DSIEC Office at Ughelli was burnt down while election materials were not yet issued out.
“We are not shocked by the outcome of the election because we had issued out a note of caution previously, warning about the potential for active connivance between DSIEC and PDP officials or agents.”
Erue state further, “our party was very well prepared for peaceful elections. Unfortunately, the people were let down, but more importantly, DSIEC demonstrated to the whole world that it is not yet able to deliver such an onerous responsibility for conducting peaceful elections on behalf of the people.
However, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Mr Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza claimed that it won the local council election across the state fair and square.
The party while taking a jab at some APC leaders who had condemned the exercise and called for the cancellation of the poll noted, described their outcry as “spurious, unfounded and utterly nonsensical ranting.”
According to Osuoza; “To us, these comments are nothing more than the typical whining and bellyaching always expected from sore losers, as a diversionary ploy and smokescreen to cover up their obviously pathetic lack of preparation for the Delta Council polls.
“We are extremely disappointed but not particularly surprised with the comments of Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Delta APC leader and former governorship candidate, made from the cozy comforts and surrounding of his country home, who like an old broken record, replaying with annoying repetition, called for the cancellation of the Delta State Local Government election, on outdated and less edifying excuses and allegations, unbecoming of a politician of his status and arguably still nurturing experience.
“Even more ridiculous were the excuses given by Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, the self acclaimed new Media Director of the APC who, not knowing who else to blame for his colossal failure in his constituency, accused a major GSM Service Provider of colluding with the PDP, by ‘deliberately jamming the network’ to prevent people from making calls, when they were supposed to be lining up for accreditation and voting. What hogwash indeed.
“But more farcical are the allegations made by the APC chairman in Ughelli North, Olorogun Felix Ekure and the APC chairmanship candidate in Uvwie, Engr. Ufoma Okenini who claimed amongst other brazen falsehoods that, “the APC in Delta State and Ughelli North in particular decided to prepare for and participate in the election….We campaigned throughout the nooks and crannies of the entire LGA and our supporters were fully mobilized and ready for the election. We were determined to send a clear signal to the PDP that they have no place in Ughelli North”…
“Sadly, despite the apparent falsehood, they did not even campaign at all, except for some noisy social media propaganda, their ‘determination to send a clear signal to the PDP’, was to manifest in what we have now come to realize was the deliberate perpetration of arson, by burning down the DSIEC office in the LGA and destroying DSIEC properties, with the heinous intent to cripple the electoral process and deny the good people of Ughelli North from exercising their franchise as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and electing their Chairman and Councillors at the grassroots administrative level, when they realized that the PDP was set to sweep the stakes in Ughelli North, in a free and fair election.
“We also want to State emphatically that as a responsible political party, the PDP in Delta State is very satisfied with the process of the Local Government Election. Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) gave us the assurance that the election will be credible, free and fair and that was what happened in majority of the areas where the people insisted on exercising their franchise and free-will, by coming out to cast their votes.
“We heartily congratulate all our victorious candidates and urge all Deltans to disregard the vituperations of the APC, even as we promise Deltans that the SMART Agenda of His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa is still on course and will continue to deliver more dividends of democracy now, with the emergence of Local Government Administration in Delta State.” The statement added.