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Published On: Sun, Oct 13th, 2013

Delta Central Election Updates:Late Arrival of Electoral Materials, Voters Apathy Trail Election

Prof. Amos Utuama being accredited during the Delta Central Bye-Election at Jeremi Ward 2, Otu-Jeremi Town.

By Theophilus Onojeghen
Yesterday bye-election in Delta Central into the vacant seat of the National Assembly occasioned by the death of Late Sen. Pius Akpor Ewherido of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) was marred by late arrival of electoral materials, low turn out of voters and minor protests as the process witnessed relative peaceful conduct under tight security.
Our correspondent who witnessed the election in the senatorial district observed that there was late arrival of materials in the entire district and lack of interest by the people of Delta Central as the turn out was low.
As early as 8:02am when our reporter visited Ughelli the administrative headquarters of Ughelli North materials were being dispatch to the various collation centres for onward distribution to the wards and units.
In the various collation centres visited at 9am in Ughelli there were scanty voters at the polling units but materials were yet to arrived the polling booths.
However, there was also logistic problem as members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) drafted to assist in the conduct of the election were said to have protested none payment of their allowances until it was addressed.
At 10:25am in Evwreni the home town of Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor of All Progressives Congress (APC) electoral materials were just arriving. The presiding officers were dispatching material to different polling units.
While addressing pressmen at one of the polling units at Evwreni Ward 8 unit 6 in Marierie Primary School in Evwreni, member representing Ughelli Constituency of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Barr. Samuel Mariere said the atmosphere is calm and peaceful. He added that the people are civilized and would vote for the more popular candidate.
According Mariere, ” We will ensure that the election remain peaceful, at the end of the day the best candidate will emerged winner.”
Also speaking in the same venue, Alhaji Mumiakia Unagha, a former Chairman of Delta State Muslim Pilgrim Board, observed that it was true that materials were late but due to INEC logistic problem.
When Pressmen visited Okpare-Olomu in Ughelli South Local Government Area, the home town of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olorogun Emmanuel Aguariavwodo around 12noon materials have not yet arrived. Enquiries carried out by Daily Champion revealed that the vehicle conveying the materials to the collation centre was involved in an accident.
When accosted, member Representing Ughelli South LGA at the Delta State House Assembly, Hon. Talib Tebite noted that they were still awaiting electoral materials. Tebite blamed INEC for the delay recorded in the election. Expressing confident that PDP will come victorious in the election.
At Agbarha-Otor, also in Ughelli North, there were pockets of protests by the electorates. They alleged that there were no presence of electoral materials. They alleged that the ruling PDP hijacked the materials meant for the bye-election.
Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof Amos Utuama (SAN) and his wife casted their votes exactly 1:05 pm at Jeremi Ward 2 near Otughievwen Town Hall, Ughelli South Local Government.
However, the traditional market day was filled to capacity as market women were seen in their numbers busy buying and selling. The situation was the same at Evwreni market in Ughelli North.
Speaking with journalists after casting his vote, Prof Utuama said although there were logistics problem occasioned by the earlier protests by Corps Members over allowances but expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the poll.
Utuama noted that the election was peaceful. While disregarding allegation of irregularities and stuffing of ballot boxes against his party, saying that it is only in Nigeria when people are losing that they make hell of allegations. “They are not facts. The only party that is truly on ground in Delta Central is PDP like in order places. The credential of the PDP candidate is far overwhelmed that of other parties. PDP is strong and we are doing well.
In Udu Local Government Area the election was relatively peaceful, although there was little hitches at Alaska in the same area. While in Uvwie Local Government Area, the election supervised by heavy tight security and was generally peaceful.
At Amukpe Primary School in Sapele Local Government Area voting materials were hijacked by irate youths. Sources at troubled Kokori say there were no voting.
Early election results alleged that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party was leading in Ughelli South and North as well as Uvwie Local Government Areas of the state.

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