LATE ARRIVAL OF MATERIALS, OFFICIALS TRAIL EXERCISE
THE much awaited Delta State governorship rerun election, which held yesterday, was not entirely a smooth exercise.
In spite of the initial optimism expressed by voters and politicians, the exercise began hours behind schedule.
In Abraka, headquarters of Ethiope East Local Council where the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) candidate, Great Ogboru hails from, there was a reported case of violence and late arrival of election materials.
But as early as 8a.m., voters were already heading towards the polling stations but became apprehensive when two hours after, there were no voting materials and electoral officials in sight.
Still at 10a.m., when materials were yet to arrive, there was more palpable tension and anxiety as voters gathered in clusters in major junctions around the university town.
At 10.30a.m., the first voting materials arrived at Urhuokha Primary School I in an Audi 80 car surrounded by an army of ecstatic commercial motorcycle riders who escorted the materials to the polling station.
Accreditation of voters eventually begun at around 11a.m., about an hour to the closing deadline as there were long queues of voters waiting to be accredited in Urhuokha Primary School II, Urhuokha Secondary School, Abraka Model Primary School, Abraka Grammar School, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Ekereja Town hall, Umegha Quarters, Umegha Primary School, Ughono-Abraka, Abraka-Inland and many other places visited among the 11 wards that make up the area.
Ogboru arrived Abraka Model Primary School in Toyota Camry car marked Lagos JE 448 EKY clad a white native attire with a black leather sandals. He was immediately accredited amidst cheers from voters and by 1.05 p.m., he had cast his vote.
He said he was satisfied with the turnout and the possibility of most of the people voting after a long period.
He added: 'So far here, we have a good conduct of election in at least six or seven of the local governments. Ethiope West has been very, very rough because of hooligans who hijacked the process and are making it impossible for people to vote and the same thing is happening in Warri axis, especially in Ugbesu ward, Owen Avenue, Upper Ereduwa and places like that. These are areas actually that one would have thought were the strongholds of the former governor of this state but unfortunately, he has not been able to educate his followers to be law abiding and be good citizens. On the contrary, in the places I mentioned, they have all been carrying guns and ballot boxes and making it impossible for voters to vote.'
On the reported disenfranchisement of voters, Ogboru said: 'There is disenfranchisement and that is because the voters' register was never displayed and INEC did not give us the opportunity to know where people are going to vote and some of the people have lost their voters' cards and the temporary voters' cards they have. But by and large, those who now found their names are voting. Rome was not built in one day and so, this is a march in progress.'