Local government elections in Delta state on Saturday witnessed late arrival of electoral materials, voters apathy across the 25 local government areas of the state.
Although the exercise was generally peaceful in polling units visited by our correspondent, as the opposition political party, All Progressive Congress (APC) pulled out of the elections.
In Asaba, Oshimili South LGA, materials and officials of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) did not arrive voting centres until about 10 am.
At popular Uzoigwe Primary School, a handful of voters were sighted, with an overwhelming presence of security agents, waiting for the election to commence.
The situation was tense in Illah, Oshimili North LGA, where materials and DSIEC officials were yet to arrive at about 10.30am when the voting centres were visited.
At Akumazi ward 09 in Ika North-East LGA, voting had been concluded as early as 1pm, as voters said materials arrived early and that the elections were peaceful.
In ward 09 Okpanam, Oshimili North LGA, voting commenced at about 11am.
Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the state, Patrick Ukah told journalists after voting that the community is peaceful, adding that voters would turn out enmass for the polls.
In Aniocha South LGA, chairmanship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Jude Chukwunwike who voted at Ubulu-Uku ward 07, commended the conduct of the election, and said there was massive voter turn out.
Also, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Amaechi Mrakpor said the exercise commenced early in Aniocha South LGA, and gave kudos to DSIEC.
At about 2.30pm, sorting of votes and counting was already going on at wards 07 and 18 (Omu Boys Primary School), Ibusa in Oshimili North LGA when our correspondent visited.
In pulling out of the exercise, APC in a statement by the state publicity secretary, Mr Sylvester Imonina, cited late arrival of materials and missing result sheets in some cases as reasons for pulling out.
Imonina accused the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) of colluding with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to stage managed an election geared towards deceiving and cheating Deltans.
According to APC spokesman, “In LGAs where materials were purportedly taken, there were no results’ sheets. This to our mind is evil. There cannot be Elections without results sheets
“In Ethiope East, unconfirmed report says that materials were purportedly taken there. However, there are also no results’ sheets.
“In few places in Asaba and the home town of the Governor where what looks like ‘elections materials’ were taken to, there were no election results’ sheets too.
“In view of the above, Delta APC hereby boycott the charade called ‘Delta State Local Government Council elections’.