Delta Guber Re- run:Arsonist Raze INEC Office
Huhuonline.com has on good authority that arsonists, suspected to be political hoodlums have burnt down the Ughelli- North office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The incident is said to have occurred at about 04:00 am. The rented apartment housing the electoral commission's office was set ablaze by aggrieved politicians and the incident has further pitched opposing political camps against one another as counter accusation trail the burning of the office.
According to a reliable source, voters' registers and other valuable electoral materials may have been razed, lamenting that plans of those behind the incident were to frustrate election in the area. He added that the security guard attached to the office may have scampered for safety on sighting the arsonists.
Several vehicles were also torched by the hoodlums. Some of the vehicles allegedly were said to belong to loyalists of erstwhile governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
A source who pleaded anonymity, said they woke up at about 5:30am to see the building in flame, adding that no visible effort was made by firefighters in the area to put off the fire.
Dependable sources revealed that the trouble may have been ignited political differences among some candidates standing in for the re-run election of January 6.
In a telephone interview, the state image maker of INEC in Delta state, Mr. Livy Unuigwe, insisted that election will hold across the state on January 6, saying 'the incidence leading to the burning of the INEC office in Ughelli is uncalled for'.
On whether elections will hold in the area considering the unfortunate action of the hoodlums, he said that elections would still hold at Ughelli North local area despite the arsonists act and called on all well-meaning people of Delta state and Ughelli North to make sure that they exercise their franchise.
According to him, 'The REC has said that anywhere INEC offices are torched, in the course of an election, such elections would be cancelled and not when it has not commenced. Election will hold in Ughelli'.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Jaro Egbo, Delta State Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) described the incident as unfortunate and alleged that the place may have razed by PDP supporters who were afraid of losing the area to Chief Ovie Omo-Agege of the Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN).
Egbo said the action of the perpetrators would not stop the election from holding in the area and urged their supporters in the area to cast their votes for the RPN.
The State Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development, Chief Fred Majemite said; 'it is unfortunate. INEC is an umpire for their office to be burnt is an acceptance of defeat by our opponents.
'Those opposing the PDP are not on ground that is why they are doing everything possible for the election not to hold. But we are ready for them.' Mr Sam Mariere who also spoke to the Vanguard accused RPN of being behind the burning of the office, saying that they were afraid of election.
Mr Sunny Onuesoke, a former PDP governorship aspirant in the State, said the burning was politically motivated. On his part, Dr Joe Oharisi said the DPP was a peace loving political party and could not have been behind the burning of the INEC office. The Electoral Officer in charge of the Ughelli area could not be reached for comments as at the time of filing this report.
Effort made to reach the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Ughelli 'A', Mr Chris Sogbara for comments was unsuccessful but a senior police officer attached to the division, confirmed the incident and said the police was already carrying out investigation into the matter.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Charles Muka confirmed the incident and said the Police are already interrogating the guards attached to the burnt INEC office.