PDP set to sweep Delta LG election, takes giant early lead, voters score DSIEC high
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to take all in the Saturday local government election in the state leaving no chance for the strongest opposition in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC). The PDP was leading massively in all the ward results that have trickled in.
The election however came with pain as the state was on lockdown for most part of the day grounding traffic across the busy Onitsha-Asaba road.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa lauded the State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) for the smooth conduct of the local government elections in the state.
Okowa made the commendation shortly after casting his vote at Unit 3, Ward 3, Owa-Alero, Ika North-East Local Government Area.
“I am satisfied with the process because of the smooth conduct of the election and DSIEC has given assurance that the election will be credible, free and fair.
“So far, you can see that people have come out to cast their votes in a peaceful atmosphere and I must commend the electoral body.”
The governor also lauded the electoral process adopted by DSIEC which entailed simultaneous accreditation and voting, which reduced the crowding of polling booths.
“The voting pattern adopted by DSIEC is such that once you are accredited, you cast your vote and you go for your business.
“This is unlike in the past when accreditation commenced at 8 a.m. and ended at 12 noon before voting.
He noted that the process helped to make accreditation and voting easier, saying that it had also helped to compel the electorate to leave the voting centre immediately after casting their votes.
On reports across the state, Okowa disclosed that soldiers stopped some electoral officials in Ndokwa East Local Government Area from moving materials, but the situation was resolved amicably.
The governor also disclosed that some persons allegedly working for an opposition party attacked the DSIEC office in Ughelli, but the quick intervention of security agents restored normalcy. The hoodlums burnt down the state electoral office in the town.
“It is unfortunate that some persons were not ready for the elections and they resorted to violence, but thank God the situation was however put under control.
“I can assure you that generally, from information available to me, the state is calm and voting is in progress in the state,” Okowa said.
Security agents arrested two hoodlums suspected to be political thugs armed with guns at Igbodo, Ika North-East Local Government Area.
A federal lawmaker, Rep. Victor Nwaokolo, said the trouble makers were caught with the guns while attempting to disrupt the election.
In Ndokwa East, a Chieftain of the PDP, Chief Godswill Obielum, who lauded the electoral process, told reporters that voting started early at Ward 20, Ushie, Ndokwa East Local Government Area.
“I score DSIEC very high in this election, they were prepared and it gave our people confidence. They came out in the morning and were able to vote in a peaceful atmosphere without any fear of intimidation,” he said.
Howver, the State Commissioner for Lands, Chief Chika Ossai said that due to the terrain of the state which required material passing through different local government areas from Aboh to iselegu, voting items arrived late.
He said materials arrived at about 11 a. m., adding that he cast his vote at about 12.30 p.m. at DSIEC Ward 3, Unit 5, Iselegu.
Also, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah who voted at Ward 12, Unit 3, Okpanam, said voting materials were delayed because DSIEC officials waited for security agents to deploy officers to escort voting materials.
He, however, lauded the electoral process, noting that the concept of voting immediately after accreditation helped in decongesting the polling booths as people left for their homes after voting.
In Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area, a cheiftain of APC, Chief George Okafor, lauded the smooth conduct of the elections, which he said was devoid of violence.
Okafor, who is the Vice chairman, APC Delta North, voted at unit 5, Ward 3, Ogwashi-Uku.
He, however, appealed to DSIEC to ensure that the peoples’ votes counted at the end of the day.
“Everything is going on well; you can see people voting in a peaceful atmosphere.
“However, what we expect from DSIEC is to ensure that whatever the people voted here today, let the result stand,” he said.
Many travellers and commuters were on Saturday stranded in Onitsha, Anambra, following the closure of the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge for several hours for the conduct of Local Government elections in Delta.
Mrs Joy Egwuatu, a traveller from Awka to Lagos, expressed disappointment at the development, saying she was not aware of the election and the public announcement.
“Such announcement should have been made several says before the election rather than just one day pre-notice,” Egwuatu, who was returning after the Christmas and New Year celebration, said.
Commenting on the development, Mr Sunday Ajayi, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), said the corps started to witness traffic as early as 6.00 a.m. on Saturday.
“You know, the road was shut down due to the election in Delta like it was done during the governorship election of Nov. 18, 2017 in Anambra.
“Due to pressure, we had to press for the reopening of the route before 3.00 p.m.
“As you can see now, we have controlled the traffic and the road is free now,” Ajayi said.
Meanwhile, an unconfirmed source said a pregnant woman travelling to Lagos suddenly went into labour during the long wait and was quickly attended to by other women.
The source said the woman was delivered of her baby during the emergency and was later taken to a hospital for proper attention.