Anxiety as Delta polls results trickle in Friday

Published 8 years ago by: Ibraheem Jimoh
at 06:37 AM, 7/01/2011 (8 years ago)

(106 | Upcoming) (m)

Polls results out today, says Jega

INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega said last night that the results of the Delta State rerun polls would be announced today.

Jega hinted that the collation of results from 24 local councils will start between 10 and 11 p.m.
He insisted that it is only INEC that has the official mandate to announce the results.

The INEC chief confirmed the manhandling of some officials of the commission in Ughelli North Local Council.
He said the lapses identified in the election would guide the commission in the compilation of the voters’ register and the conduct of the April polls.

Jega accused some political parties of manipulating the voters’ register handed over to them by INEC, which he said led to existence of fictitious names that were identified during the voting process.

In the election which recorded low voters turnout in Asaba, the state capital, results from the various units showed the Democratic Peoples Party’s (DPP) governorship candidate, Great Ogboru  leading Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in some areas while the reverse was the case others.

The polls, the first to be conducted by Jega since his appointment last July was personally   monitored by him.
Jega who came to Asaba on Wednesday with top members of the Commission reportedly held a closed-door meeting with the local Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Gabriel Ada yesterday morning before proceeding to monitor the election with his team.

At Ute Okpu, the home town of Acting Governor Sam Obi, the turnout by eligible voters was unimpressive. From Asaba to Ibusa, Oshimili North, the hometown of the Chairman of PDP, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, to Ogwashi Uku and Abavo, the turnout was also low.
Unlike in the 2007 exercise which was characterised by mayhem and disorderliness, yesterday’s election was largely peaceful and better organised.

The situation in Owa Alero, where former Secretary to the Delta State Government, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoware hails from was impressive as a large number of voters filed up patiently at Ekunna Primary School to cast their votes.   
There were pockets of protests in some  councils by voters who complained that their names were not on the voters register for the Delta State governorship re-run.

In  Warri, Uvwie and Ughelli North Councils, there were skirmishes over alleged late arrival of election materials.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Nigeria’s (RPN) deputy governorship candidate, Mrs Caroline Enuha was unable to vote at Ogwashi-Uku (Ward 03) as her name was not in the voters’ list in the area when she presented her voter’s card.

Jega who  moved round the state monitoring situation, reportedly expressed sadness that voting could not take place  in Ughelli North Council even up till 3p.m. He promised to investigate why materials did not get to the council.  Uduaghan voted in his Abigborodo village in Warri North Council. He arrived at the village at exactly 11.am yesterday accompanied by his wife, Roli and other personal aides. From there, he went directly to the Umuegbe Primary School Ward 6, where he was accredited almost five minutes later.

Amidst tumultuous song, the former governor, who arrived at the village from Ugberu Koko on a Naval speed boat with the registration number NY 4830 FM, greeted the people in the four polling units that constituted the ward, who have patiently queued up waiting to be accredited. The accreditation exercise itself did not commence until about one and a half hours after the 9.am commencement time by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, the accreditation went on smoothly as prospective voters waited patiently for their turn. Similarly, the former governor voted at the same unit. After casting his vote, Uduaghan expressed satisfaction with the preparations leading to the conduct of the exercise.

He said: “Well the process has just started, first we can see the enthusiasm amongst voters, but so far so good.
“You can see that INEC has been able to get the materials to the rural areas. This is a very remote area, from what you have observed, this is a real rural area and so far so good.”

In Abraka, headquarters of Ethiope East  Council where the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) candidate, Great Ogboru hails from,  there was  a reported case of violence and  late arrival of election materials.
But as early as 8 am, voters were already heading towards the polling stations but became apprehensive when  two hours after, there were no voting materials and electoral officials in sight.

Still at 10 a.m., when materials were yet to arrive, there was more palpable tension and anxiety as voters gathered in clusters in major junctions around the university town.

At 10.30 a.m., the first voting materials arrived at Urhuokha Primary School I in an Audi 80 car surrounded by an army of ecstatic commercial motorcycle riders who escorted the materials to the polling station.

Accreditation of voters eventually began at around 11 a.m., about  an hour to the closing  deadline as there were long queues of voters waiting to be accredited in Urhuokha Primary School II, Urhuokha Secondary School, Abraka Model Primary School, Abraka Grammar School, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ekereja Town hall, Umegha Quarters,  Umegha Primary School, Ughono-Abraka, Abraka-Inland and many other places visited among the 11 wards that make up the area.

Ogboru arrived Abraka Model Primary  School in Toyota Camry car marked Lagos JE 448 EKY clad in white native attire with black leather sandals, he was immediately accredited amidst cheers from voters and by 1.05 pm had cast his vote.
He said he was satisfied with the turnout and the possibility of most of the people voting after a long period.

He added: “So far here, we have a good conduct of election in at least six or seven of the local governments, Ethiope West has been very, very rough because of hooligans who hijacked the process and are making it impossible for people to vote and the same thing is happening in Warri axis especially in Ugbesu ward, Owen Avenue, Upper Ereduwa and places like that.

These are areas actually that one would have thought were the strongholds of the former governor of this state but unfortunately he has not been able to educate his followers to be law abiding and be good citizens, on the contrary, in the places I mentioned, they have all been carrying guns and ballot boxes and making it impossible for voters to vote”.

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