By Shedrack Onitsha & Atevure Princess
The Progressives’ Congress (APC) Delta State chapter has said it would boycott the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) local government council by-election bill for tomorrow, Tuesday, at Ughelli North and Ethiope East LGA.
Delta State APC Chairman, Prophet Jones Erue, stated this on Monday during a press conference attended by leaders of the party across state at the Evwreni country-home of the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, in Ughelli North council area of the state.
While announcing the decision of the party to boycott the by-election, Erue emphasized that the ruling party in the state, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) connived with DSIEC to subvert the electoral process in order to deprive the electorate their right to a free and fair election.
Recall that DSIEC Chairman, Mike Ogbodu, had on Sunday ordered a re-run election in the two councils following alleged widespread violence including the burning of DSIEC office in Ughelli by unknown political thugs.
The party chairman who was flanked by other leaders of the party, including the leader of the party in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, demanded the outright cancellation of all results so far released from Saturday’s charade called elections.
Erue, stated that APC would always be ready to participate in any election, across the 25 council areas of the state, when it is sure that the process would be free, fair and credible, demanding that the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, and the DSIEC give Delta people a real election.
According to him, “For the record, I want to reiterate that the elections purportedly organized by the Okowa led PDP government in the entire State was a fraud. The Okowa Government rigged his own election by confiscating all sensitive election materials including result sheets and then resorted to writing all the results and handing same to DSIEC to announce.
“In the attempt by the APC to insist on all materials including result sheets be provided to allow a free and fair election, the PDP resorted to violence that was witnessed throughout the 25 LGAs of the State. In summary no elections took place anywhere in Delta state.
“We demanded and still demand for a total cancellation of the sham elections in all the twenty-five LGAs in Delta State. To purportedly direct for a re-run in only two LGAs, Ughelli North and Ethiope East, is a subterfuge for the validation and authentication of the sham elections in the other twenty-three LGAs.
“In the circumstances, we therefore state as follows:
“APC Delta State is and has always been prepared for the LGA elections. We condemn the grotesque and brazen sabotage of the will of the people of Delta State in the so-called election that Okowa and his lackeys in DSIEC organised last Saturday, January 6, 2018 in Delta State.
“We demand for the cancellation of the sham elections in all the 25 LGAs in Delta State and not only in Ughelli North and Ethiope East. We demand that Okowa and his DSIEC guarantee a free and fair election in a re-run that will take place in all the 25 LGAs of the State.
“We will therefore not participate in the elections in the two LGAs fixed for tomorrow, Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
For the avoidance of doubt, we are prepared, willing, and ready to participate in any free and fair election in all the 25 LGAs as the people of Delta State are ready to throw out the corrupt PDP government from Delta State, starting with the LGA elections”, Erue said.