Election into various positions in delta state has gone beyond the concept of contest and win in some communities as some candidates could go extra miles to be declared winner in their quest to become community leaders.
In Oteri-Ughelli community, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta state, the election in the position of the community vice president held on September 6, 2020, was allegedly marred with irregularities despite the presence of combined security agents.
Some of the actions led to the declaration of the election to be inconclusive by the Electoral Committee Chairman, Hon. Emmanuel Alu.
It was gathered that the election was declared inconclusive after unknown hoodlums allegedly invaded the collation centre and tempered with the ballot papers which also resulted into fight between supporters of the two contestants, Mr. Hezekiah Ugbuwiako and Odafe Prince Oghenevwogaga.
Why I summoned the Electoral Committee chairman, Hon Alu Emmanuel to Shrine- Ugbuwiako
One of the contestants, Mr. Hezekiah Ugbuwiako popularly known as DHO, while confirming the summon of the electoral committee chairman before Awhire shrine in Agbarha-Otor said, “I summoned a particular person, an individual, we had an election and I am one of the contestant that went for the election.
A total of 1,054 persons were accredited out of which 1,049 total vote were casted, 30 votes were voided.
“I scored 511 votes while my co-contestant scored 506 votes, so who win? He questioned. What was the reason for the inconclusive? The ballot papers are still very much intact for verification and I will take you to where they are if you wish.
“What happened was that the electoral committee chairman was the person who bought form for my opponent with his name on the list, and I have to confront him that as a chairman of electoral committee, he ought not to have done and his reply was that the other people that refuse to cast their votes would have voted for my opponent.
“The elders summoned him to the elder’s council and ask him to go and declare the result but he refused boldly that he will never accept it, so I have to take him to where he would confess that the boy (opponent) lost or I lost the election. And if he tells me that I lost or we scored same number of votes, I will swear for him and forget about the election. He should not be broadcasting me that I took or summoned him to the shrine; he should go and tell the shrine the truth.
Summoning Electoral Committee Chairman Before A Shrine Is my opponent’s Desperation To Lead-Odafe
The opponent, Odafe Prince Oghenevwogaga who reacted to the summon of electoral committee chairman said, “I want to say that the action of my opponent is unfortunate and uncalled for.
It is also very unfortunate that his is parading himself as the winner of the election that was declared inconclusive.
“The electoral committee chairman, declared the election inconclusive before the general public, in the the presence of community leaders, women, youths, candidate Agents, Election Observers, Security Agents and the DSS.
“And For my opponent to summon the electoral committee chairman before a shrine is an act that is condemnable and I will not subscribe to the politics of taking people to shrine when we have a competent court to handle the matter. The matter is already before the competent Court to handle. The idea of going to the extent of carrying Juju so that he can be declare the winner in an election that was inconclusive is an indication that he is very desperate for position and with this action, it shows that he is not a politician.
According to Odafe, “After voting, my agent told me that I was declared the winner at the first counting of the ballot papers that I won the election with 512 votes and my opponent had 511 votes, but much later, one of my vote was voided and our votes now tallied and I did not contest it for peace to reign but to my surprise. And they came up again with gimmicks that the votes must be recounted and during that process of recounting, five (5) of my votes got vanished without any trace.
“First, I defeated him with one vote, second our votes tallied and at the third counting my five votes got missing and before we knew it crisis erupted because a guy suddenly came to cause confusion which lead to the missing of my five vote.
“I am ready to go for a rerun if the electoral committee decides to do so and I am also very confident that come any day I will win the election.” Odafe revealed.
I will appear before the Shrine-Hon Emmanuel Alu
Speaking to this medium, the Oteri-Ughelli Electoral Committee Chairman, Hon Alu Emmanuel disclosed that that he is ready to appear before the shrine to do whatever that is needed.
He said, “We actually conducted election for the position of the Secretary and Vice president of the community and after the election, something happened, the secretary position was won and that of the Vice President came stalemate. While we were thinking of the step, this man went to the town making announcement that he won the election without the electoral committee declaring him the winner.
“When I was informed, I went to calm down the situation and before I knew it, he went and summons me at Juju and I am ready and prepare to say anything they want me to say. The total valid votes casted were 1,022 and both have 511 votes each and as we were thinking of what to do, somebody went and removed five votes from one of the opponent.
“What he has done is against the electoral guidelines and after my return; the committee will sit down to take further actions.” Alu revealed.