Following the calls for the cancellation of the just concluded local government elections in Delta state by the All Progressive Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a swift reaction has dismissed the trending claims by the opposition party, that the exercise which held on January 6, 2017 was a complete sham that cannot stand the test of a credible, free and fair election.
In a statement dated 7th January, 2018 as obtained by ASABAMETRO, signed by the State Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza on behalf of the party, stated that, the allegations by APC 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 Iike 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replaying with annoying repetition, called for the cancellation of the Delta State Local Government election, on outdated and less edifying excuses and allegations, unbecoming of a politician of his status and arguably still nurturing experience.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 a 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 want to place on record as unequivocally stated by the undisputed leader of our Delta PDP, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who stated categorically, that, “It is unfortunate that some persons were not ready for the elections and they resorted to violence. I personally led the campaign of the PDP round the 25 local government areas of the State, even to areas I did not visit when I was campaigning for the governorship position and after that, the campaign from Ward to Ward, house to house continued while other political parties were not involved in any campaign.”
“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.
“The voting pattern adopted by DSIEC was such that once you are accredited, you cast your vote and you go for your business, unlike in the past when accreditation commenced at 8am and ended at 12 noon, before actual voting will start. With this process, accreditation and voting continued all day and everybody who was accredited voted, no matter how late it was, in all the polling units across the State.
“We have no doubts whatsoever that this is one of the best organised elections by the DSIEC, taking into cognizance, the fact that the recently elected Board of the electoral umpire had to accommodate so much at such short notice. The election was transparent and people were happy to come out and vote without fear and with confidence that their votes will count.
“Let us also use this medium to express our heartfelt sympathy and deep condolences to DSIEC over the death of their ad-hoc staff, who sadly slumped and passed away just as the process was about to commence in Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North LGA. May his gentle soul rest in peace and may God Almighty give his family the strength and fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.
“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.