All Progressives Congress, APC, has rejected the result of the Delta Central senatorial by-election announced by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, demanding for “a fresh election that would allow the people of Delta Central to freely elect a senator of their choice.”
But the Delta State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, yesterday, admonished losers in last Saturday’s senatorial by-election in Delta Central to stop making inflammatory statements to rather shift the battle to the tribunal.
The APC candidate, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, who addressed newsmen in Effurun, Delta State, accused the state government and all its agencies, including INEC and security agencies, of working in favour of the ruling party, PDP.
He said: “I hereby, place this on record that no by-election took place in Delta Central on October 12. What took place was a sham, calculated to select a senator, the first in any democracy in the world by the government and all its agencies, including INEC, the military and other security agencies working together to achieve this nefarious and predetermined outcome.”
He alleged that the whole process was militarised as voters were intimidated to stay at home and were not allowed to come out and exercise their franchise, adding that soldiers supervised the snatching of ballot boxes by PDP stalwarts and thugs.
“In places that were not strongholds of PDP, INEC found every reason in the book to bungle the exercise, including but not limited to the lame excuse by the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members that their allowances for the training they received few days back and the money for the voting exercise which they had not even conducted, be paid. The payment for training and election conduct is clearly within the purview of the government of the day and INEC for which they have been heavily funded by tax payers,” he said.
Emerhor also accused the military of supervising the thumb printing of ballot papers in private homes of PDP stalwarts, adding that in the few areas where the semblance of election took place, the exercise started beyond 3p.m., which was outside the constitutional and electoral provision.
“The aim was to delay the exercise to give room for PDP to manipulate the system in the dark of night, which was what actually happened across board. INEC failed to provide transportation for men and materials and left this critical responsibility to the Delta State Government, which provided them the opportunity to hijack and divert the materials.”
He also alleged that the restriction of movement put in place by INEC was not adhered to by PDP stalwarts, saying that “serving members of the National and state Assemblies, local government Chairmen, commissioners, deputy governor and others moved about with police escort giving the voters the impression of being above the law.”
Emerhor lamented that the military were used to take over the collation centre, depriving other party agents access to the collation centre, which gave room for “PDP in connivance with INEC to allot figures to the various candidates as selection results.”
However the Delta State Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, yesterday, admonished losers in last Saturday’s senatorial by-election in Delta Central to stop making inflammatory statements but to rather shift the battle to the tribunal, which would soon be set up for redress if they have credible and convincing evidence to substantiate their allegations of being rigged out.
Addressing newsmen in Asaba, Nwaoboshi said that those calling for the cancellation of the election should follow the proper channel, instead of heating up the polity, noting that “the law is clear, nobody can annul an election once concluded except the courts.”
He dismissed the claim that the PDP-led government used the military to intimidate voters.
“Even before this election, some people were predicting bloodshed. Many of them in the opposition had said that they would do this and that and now lives and property were protected. We didn’t hear of burning of cars and killings. They said the military intimidated them. That is the issue now, maybe if we had allowed what happened in Kokori before the election to happen, they would jubilate. Now that security had been provided, they are saying that the process was militarised. That is not correct.”
Commending the security agencies, he said: “I want to say a big thank you for disappointing those who wanted to use the exercise to maim, burn, steal, kidnap and destroy propertiy and lives of innocent Deltans.
“I appeal to you as our dear security agents not to be deterred by the unguarded statements of professional political failures and neophytes,” he added.