Three dead, house burnt, thugs destroy election –

Ebenezer Aduroquia

Amid what appeared to be low turnout and voter apathy in the Delta state on Saturday, three people were reportedly shot dead and a building was set ablaze in the state’s western Ethiopian local government area, Mosogal.

In Amukpe, Sapele, our reporter learned that a young man lost his hand in a clash at a polling station in the area.

The burned building in Mosogal is owned by Dr. Wilson Omene, chief of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former chairman of the Western Ethiopia Local Government Area.

Explaining the incident to reporters, Dr Omene said his home was attacked by machete and gunmen in about four vehicles while he was trying to vote at units 8 and 10, Mosogar Ward 1.

Further election violence continued in the state’s Ughelli North Local Government Area’s Evwerni community, where rampant mobs invaded and destroyed election material, including BVAS machines.

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

Suspected of working for former Delta lawmakers and current commissioners, the thugs disrupted drills at all polling stations in Evwerni.

Thugs allegedly loyal to the incumbent governor prevented a group of reporters monitoring the election from entering the community.

Some Legion members and other election officials fled to safety under the watchful eyes of security personnel, and were attacked by mobs, some were injured, and about three BVAS machines were smashed.

In Warri South Local Government Area, materials arrive early, certification and voting proceed smoothly after military show of force

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made improvements to the February 25 presidential election in Warri, INEC deputy director Ms Mercy Esateh, speaking on behalf of elections officer Mr Kingsley Ogboe, said that since Friday night the election items.

However, the most sensitive material was distributed as early as 5:00 am on Saturday morning, she added, adding that she was called up to the INEC Warri office to assist the EO in conducting the exercise and changing the narrative.

It will be recalled that during the last presidential election, the INEC in South Warri did not start distributing materials until 4.30pm, a situation which sparked outrage from stakeholders who called for the removal of Mr Kingsley Ogboe.

On Saturday, in Orogun, the country home of the All Progressives Congress (APC), deplored the violence in Saturday’s Governor and House of Representatives elections in parts of the Delta.

Speaking to reporters after voting with his wife in the 19th polling group of constituency 2 at 11.11pm, he said he had received reports of violence and looting in parts of Uvwie, Gbaramatu, Evwreni and Otere in the state.

He circled the state’s nooks and crannies during the campaign, expressing excitement about the vote and saying he would be declared the winner of the race.

Regarding the violent character of the drill in some parts of the state, Omo-Agege condemned the alleged threats to voters by PDP adherents.

“The PDP raced in a predetermined fashion to secure attacks on polling places statewide, especially in Delta Central, to disrupt the vote.

“Since the morning we’ve had reports of attacks on polling stations in Evwreni, Ughelli South, Otere in Ughelli, and some shenanigans in Gbaramatu in Warri South West, all the while we’ve had those agencies respond, They keep responding, but it looks like they’re really overwhelmed.

“It’s because we’ve heard that we’re trying to protect our vote statewide because we have votes to protect. But we’re very confident that at the end of the day, we’re going to be declared winners.

“For the people of Delta, this is a day of God’s creation, and it is a good day in our eyes. We implore them to come out and vote, ignoring all provocations.

“The idea is to stir up their fight so it gets canceled, like Uvwie seems like a war zone.

“People are being threatened and if they don’t vote for the PDP, they shouldn’t come out. Those who are not coming out are being threatened. So they should remain calm,” he enjoined.

Meanwhile, the People’s Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate in Delta, Ober Rivori, expressed hope to win the state’s gubernatorial race.

Speaking to reporters after the vote at 9.30am at Osubi Secondary School, Sector 3, Unit 32, Osubi, Okpe Local Government Area, the lawmaker said democracy remains the trump card to deliver the necessary peace that Nigeria so craves .

“Materials arrived early and the voting process proceeded smoothly and peacefully.

“In Nigeria we want democracy and that is the only way we can have peace in this country.

“We know that if the vote goes well, we will achieve our goals through the voting process.

“Just like what is happening in my unit is happening in 270 constituencies, it will be good for the will and democracy of Nigeria.

“Right now, the turnout is okay. I have hope of winning. Yes. Because we’ve worked really hard as a party.”

As of the writing of this report, the results of voting units are coming in and the sorting and counting of ballots cast has begun.

Speaking to reporters after the vote in Oginibo in his home town of Ughelli South LGA, Chairman Kenneth Gbagi, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) gubernatorial candidate, accused the PDP and APC of motivating voters.

“PDP and APC are a disgrace to humanity, we have seen whole areas blocked by APC to allow or disallow people to vote, we have also seen PDP pay N10,000 which at some point violated election law polling stations.

He praised the INEC exercise, saying the BVAS technology was fantastic, adding that he would be the winner of the exercise.

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