PDP's Aguariavwodo wins Delta by-election for Senate seat
People 's Democratic Party's (PDP) candidate in the Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the of last Saturday's by-election to the vacant seat of the Delta Central Senatorial district,
He was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after coasting to landslide victory in the election.
The INEC's Returning Officer, Professor Eric Arugbayi declared Aguariavwodo winner Saturday night at Federal Government College, Ughelli, Delta State based on the result of the election, which showed the the PDP candidate polling 263, 024 to beat the candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC) and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), who polled 29,075 and 29,055, respectively.
The candidates of the APC and DPP at the poll were Olorogun O'tega Emerhor and Chief Ede Dafinone.
The by-election was marked by voters apathy, late delivery of voting materials, late voting, abstinence over unpaid allowances from voting centres by corps members contracted by INEC, intimidation by security operatives, pockets of violence and ballot paper snatching.
While mocking the losers, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan said: 'Some dey cry,' and the congregant chorused: 'Some dey weep.' The congregation, in the seeming thanksgiving service, comprised the deputy governor, Professor Amos Utuama, the senator-elect, Aguariawodo, the state PDP chairman, Chief Peter Nwabaoshi, commissioners, ward leaders and other PDP stalwarts.
The ecstatic governor, who gave glory to God for the victory, attributed the landslide victory to the new-found unity of purpose in the state PDP members.
The senator-elect, Aguariawodo, while thanking the Urhobo nation and Governor Uduaghan for voting him into power, warned that the victory so sustained must not be lost, adding that whoever was not happy with his victory was not a true politician.
'We are grateful to you Gov Uduaghan. This unity in PDP today must not be lost. No party in the state today can counter us. Anybody not here today is not a true politician in Delta State. I pledge that I will serve with humility, my people to the best of my ability. I will do my best at all times in whatever capacity or area, I will serve my people.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, at a press conference held at Cyprian Hotels, along NPA Expressway, has said that there was no election on Saturday in Delta Central Senatorial district.
According to him, what took place was a connivance among INEC, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police, the SSS and other security operatives as well as the Delta State government to give a concocted victory to the PDP candidate.
Also, All Progress Congress said cases of electoral malpractices and widespread violence that rocked Saturday's bye-election in Delta Central Senatorial District were perpetrated by security agents and thugs hired by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The APC said this in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, declaring that no voting took place in most of the eight local governments and the 85 wards in the district.
The party said this occurred because the PDP used armed security agents to chase away voters in opposition strongholds while thugs working under the cover of security personnel beat opposition party agents and seized voting materials in many areas.
It said the electoral officials were either overwhelmed by the intimidating presence of the security agents or were coerced into submission, describing the election as nothing but a sham.
'From what transpired in Delta on Saturday, it is clear that the PDP has resolved that there will not be a free and fair election anywhere across the country henceforth,' the APC said.
Meanwhile, the PDP on Sunday blasted the All Progressives Congress, for 'not being bold and sportsman like enough to accept its straight defeat in the Delta Central senatorial bye-election in Delta State' won by PDP's candidate, Chief Agwariavwodo.
In a statement signed in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and made available to news men the party also described the APC as 'a party borne out of violence and religious extremism; a serial bad loser which always finds it difficult to accept that it does not have the support of Nigerians.'
The statement said that in protesting against an election where it lost woefully, the APC was merely 'rehearsing its excuses ahead of the 2015 general election when it would suffer the ultimate humiliation from Nigerians.'
According to the Party,'For the avoidance of doubt, the Delta Central senatorial bye-election was free, fair and credible and the people freely gave their mandate to the PDP candidate, Chief Emmanuel Agwariavwodo. The statement reads,'In protesting the outcome of an election where it did not get up to 10 per cent of the total votes cast, the APC has shown that it remains a party borne out of violence, religious extremism and desperation; a party of bigots which fails to understand that it does not have the support of Nigerians, hence, its inability to win elections due to its undemocratic and do-or-die posture'.
In a related development, the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) as well as the Labour Party (LP), in Delta State have both rejected last Saturday's by-election to the Delta Central Senatorial district seat, saying it was a complete sham.
The parties have also called for cancellation and a fresh election to the seat.
The DPP candidate made this call at a press conference held on Sunday in Sapele, Delta State.
The DPP candidate, Chief Ede Dafinone came third behind the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates, polling 29,055 votes.
DPP accused the PDP of conniving with security operatives and INEC officials to rob the Urhobo people of their right to elect their senator to represent them at the Senate in Abuja.
According to Dafinone, INEC, PDP, NYSC adhoc members all came together to accord victory to the PDP candidate, Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, alleging that security forces turned a blind eye to open violence and brutality meted out on members of the DPP during the exercise.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has described the outcome of Saturday's by-election in Delta Central Senatorial District, as a demonstration of the potency of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This was as he also congratulated Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, the PDP candidate in the election, on his victory in the by-election.