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Published On: Sun, Mar 19th, 2023

Delta Gov. Election: Three Dead, Houses Razed As Political  Thugs Go On Rampage

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LAGOS MARCH 19TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Amid a seeming low turnout and apathy of voters in Delta State on Saturday, three persons were reportedly shot dead, and a building was set ablaze in Mosogar, Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state.

Our correspondent gathered that at Amukpe, Sapele, one of the youths lost his hand during a clash in one of the polling units in the area.

The torched building at Mosogar is owned by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and former chairman of Ethiope West Local Government Area, Dr Wilson Omene.

Explaining the incident to journalists, Dr Omene said his home was attacked by machete and gun-wielding hoodlums in about four vehicles while he was trying to cast his vote at Mosogar Ward 1, unit 8 and 10.

Further electoral violence continued as rampaging thugs invaded and destroyed electoral materials, including the BVAS machine, at the Evwerni community in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.

Evwreni is the country home of the founding leader of APC in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor.

The thugs, who were suspected to be working for a former Delta lawmaker and current serving Commissioner, disrupted the exercise in all the polling units in Evwerni.

A team of journalists monitoring the elections were prevented from entering the community by the rampaging thugs allegedly loyal to the serving State Commissioner.

Some of the corps members and other electoral officials, who scampered to safety while security agents looked on, were attacked by the thugs, with some sustaining injuries, why about three BVAS machines were smashed.

In Warri South Local Government Area, materials arrived early and accreditation and voting went on without hitches following a show of force by the military

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) improved upon the February 25 presidential election in Warri as Mrs Mercy Esateh, Deputy Director, INEC, who spoke on behalf of the Electoral Officer, Mr Kingsley Ogboe, said election items had been distributed since Friday night.

She, however, added that the most sensitive materials were distributed Saturday morning as early as 5:00a.m, adding that she was drafted to the INEC Warri office to assist the EO in the exercise and to change the narrative.

It will be recalled that in the last presidential election, INEC in Warri South began the distribution of materials as late as 4:30 p.m., a situation that drew the anger of stakeholders with a call on the transfer of Mr Kingsley Ogboe.

At Orogun, the country home of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Saturday, deplored the violence that characterised the Saturday Governorship and House of the elections in parts of Delta State.

Speaking with journalists after casting his vote along with his wife at 11:11p.m at Ward 2, Polling Unit 19, he said he had received reports of pockets of violence and brigandage at Uvwie, Gbaramatu, Evwreni and Otere parts of the state.

He expressed excitement at casting his vote having gone around the nooks and crannies of the state during campaigns, saying he’d be declared winner of the contest.

On the violence characterising the exercise in some parts of the state, Omo-Agege decried threats of voters allegedly by PDP faithful.

“The PDP entered into the race with a predetermined to ensure that attacks are launched on the polling units across the state most especially at Delta Central, to destroy the vote.

“Since morning, we’ve received reports of those attacks in polling units at Evwreni, Ughelli South, Otere in Ughelli and there is some mischief going in in Gbaramatu in Warri South West, and all along we’ve gotten the agencies to respond and they’ve been responding, but it does appear that they’re being overwhelmed.

“This is because we heard that we’re trying to protect our votes across the state as we have votes to protect. But we’re very confident that at the end of the day, we’d be declared the winner.

“For Deltans, this is the day the Lord has made and it’s marvellous in our sight. We implore them to come out and cast their votes and ignore all the provocations.

“The idea is to provoke them to fight so that there’d be cancellation such as Uvwie that appears a war zone.

“People are being threatened that if they would not vote PDP they shouldn’t come out. And those who haven’t come out are being threatened. So they should be calm,” he enjoined.

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, expressed the hope of clinching the governorship contest in the state.

Speaking with journalists after casting his vote at 9:30a.m at Osubi Secondary School, Ward 3, Unit 32, Osubi, Okpe Local Government Area of the state, the lawmaker said democracy still held the ace of providing the necessary peace Nigeria so desired.

“Materials arrived early and the voting process is going on smoothly and peacefully.

“In Nigeria, we want democracy, that’s the only way we can have peace in this country.

“We know that we are going to achieve with the process of this voting if it goes round.

“Like what is happening in my unit is happening across the 270 wards, it’s going to be good for Nigeria’s will and democracy.

“For now, the turnout is okay. I’m hopeful of winning. Yes. Because as a party, we have worked very hard.”

As of the time of compiling the report, sorting and counting of votes cast had commenced with results from polling units trickling in.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote at Oginibo, Ughelli South LGA, his country home, the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Kenneth Gbagi, accused the PDP and APC of inducing the electorate with money.

“PDP and the APC are an embarrassment to humanity, we have seen where an entire area is being blocked by APC to allow or disallow people from voting and also we have seen where PDP is paying N10,000 which is against the Electoral Act at some voting polling units.

He commended INEC for the exercise, describing the BVAS technology as awesome, adding that he would emerge the winner of the exercise.

Tribune

 

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