Home » Delta, Governors, State News, Top Stories » Delta Rerun: Uduaghan, Ogboru in neck and neck race

Delta Rerun: Uduaghan, Ogboru in neck and neck race

The landslide victory expected by the ruling People Democratic Party in the Delta State governorship rerun election is becoming a mirage, as the race has become too close to call.
There are 14 contestants for the gubernatorial seat.

However, as at press time, the two major contenders were former governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Chief Great Ogboru of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP). Both candidates are running neck and neck and either of them could emerge winner.

Huhuonline.com exit polls result showed that Uduaghan was leading in Ika North East, Ika South, Aniocha South, Oshimili North and Ethiope West Local Government Areas while Ogboru was ahead in Oshimili South, Ndokwa West, and Uvwie Local Government Areas.

Despite the claim by the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, of having cleaned up the voters’ register for the Delta State governorship rerun election, the register fell short of expectations as many voters were disenfranchised because their names were not found in the register for accreditation. Prospective voters searched frantically for their names unsuccessfully even when they were armed with their voters’ cards.

However, the election went peacefully and voters turn out very impressive save for the report of hijack of materials in Oshimilli North and Warri South Local Government Areas and a protest by the electorate in Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area, who were aggrieved that their names were not in the voters’ register, demanding that they be made to vote by any arrangement INEC could make.

Also, accreditation started late as the exercise billed to start by 9am did not start until 11am in some places even when election proper was scheduled by 12pm. Some of the voters were seen waiting patiently for Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) officials to come and accredit them.
To assuage the emotions of the aggrieved voters whose names were missing from the register, the INEC officials promptly directed them to check out their names in other polling units.

For instance, in Sapele Local Government Area Ward 4, a total of 94 voters’ names appeared in the register but only 27 could find their names for accreditation, prompting the protest by the youths against their disenfranchisement. To register their annoyance, the youths, on sighting newsmen, chanted protest songs “we want vote, we want vote, INEC find our names.” At Abigborodo, in Warri North Local Government Area, country home of the former governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, voters turned out en mass as early as 8:00am but could not be attended to until about 10am because the INEC personnel arrived late.

In some other voting centres, campaign posters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate were strategically displayed at the entrance gates of the voting centres. This development made some officials on duty to caution the party agents at Ogwa-Umudunkwu Umunze, Ogwashiuku in the Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state, and instructed them to remove them.
It was also observed that only one corp member manned each of the polling units contrary to INEC’s earlier explanation that at least two corp members would take charge.

Interestingly, while the INEC claimed that about 25,000 security personnel had been deployed for the election, there was visibly no policemen at some of the polling units around the state, especially in the riverrine areas. Part of the reason for the delay in the conduct of the election was lack of proper coordination for transportation of materials, security and INEC officials to their points of duty.
Specifically, at Ijedinka Primary School, Ward 5, in Aniocha South Local Government Area, a member of the PDP volunteered to carry the INEC materials to a voting centre at Aniagbala in the Aniocha South Local Government Area after much delay.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, who monitored the election, using helicopter, touched down in some areas to observe the voting and access the situation. Dr. Uduaghan arrived his country home at about 10:30am and was accredited by 10:46am at polling unit 1, Abigborodo ward 6. He expressed optimism that he was going to win and that he was impressed by the large turn-out of the voters, whom he said were enthusiastic. Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN) candidate, Mr. Ovie Omo-Agege, was accredited at 1:20pm. He told newsmen that there were cases of election materials hijack in Oshimili North and Warri South West Local Governmnt Areas, and that it was because the PDP had no marketable candidate.

He said he was of the belief that the number of the validly cast votes would give him victory. He, however, expressed dissatisfaction with irregularities in some parts of the State.
He, however, expressed belief that the number of valid votes in the election would give him victory, adding that the irregularities would fail, since only the valid votes would be count in the election.
Daily Sun’s observations of the election in Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Isoko South, Isoko North and Patani, indicated that ballot materials were released to wards in Ughelli North at about 9:15am, same in Ughelli South and Patani, except for the two Isoko Local Government Areas where materials were released at about 10:30am.

Also at Igbide, Isoko South ward seven, electoral officers were whisked to the palace of a traditional ruler for safety for lack of adequate security. It was the same in Uzere, were ballot papers were allegedly hijacked by the PDP. Some youths alleged to have hijacked materials in Ughelli and Ozoro were arrested by the police.

The immediate past deputy governor, Professor Amos Utuama (SAN), commended the peaceful conduct of the polls. He cast his vote at 12.53pm at Unit 4 of Jeremi Ward in Ughelli South Local Government Area. He made the remark while fielding questions from reporters after casting his ballot.
Utuama commended the INEC and the various security agencies for the orderly manner voters conducted themselves.

He said: “INEC has done very well in their mobilisation since yesterday. The materials arrived quite early yesterday and information reaching me is that all parts of the local government (Ughelli South) have been covered.” Acting speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Basil Ganagana, voted at his Patani home at 12:26pm, in his Bulu-Agiama ward polling unit. Ganagana, who spoke to newsmen, expressed satisfaction with voters turn-out and adequate preparation for the election and commended INEC for the early arrival of voting materials.

Jega, who arrived Ughelli at about 2:22pm, ordered that the ballot material meant for some wards in Ughelli be taken back to Asaba, adding that he would make a statement on the issue later. A former Commissioner for Water Resources in the state, Mr. George Timinimi, could not vote because a different picture appeared against his name in the register. Timinimi was also referred to as 23-year-old student. He lamented that the election would not produce a credible outcome.

-Sun

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Posted by on Jan 6 2011. Filed under Delta, Governors, State News, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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