The All Progress Congress (APC) has said Saturday’s bye-election in Delta Central Senatorial District was marred by cases of electoral malpractices and widespread violence perpetrated by security agents and thugs hired by the PDP.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said there was no voting at all in most of the eight local governments and the 85 wards in the District, as 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 electoral officials were either overwhelmed by the intimidating presence of the security agents or were coerced into submission.
”This election is nothing but a sham as the activities of the partisan security agents ensured that hundreds of voters were disenfranchised, while state government and PDP officials openly handed money to induce voters. Even in wards where voters successfully resisted armed security agents, the absence of complete electoral materials meant there was no voting.
”Knowing it could not win a free and fair elections anywhere in the country, the PDP simply took measures to suppress voting in opposition strongholds during the Senatorial election.
”From what transpired in Delta on Saturday, it is clear that the PDP has resolved that there will no be a free and fair election anywhere across the country henceforth. The party’s new strategy is to use security agents as agents of destabilization and suppression of votes,” APC said.
The party said the Federal Government sent troops to Delta under the pretext of battling the notorious kidnapping lynchpin Kelvin and his cohorts, when in fact the deployment was a decoy for election rigging.
It cited some instances of the malpractices and brigandage which the PDP employed to compromise the elections, especially in Ughelli North, Udu and Uvwie LGs: – Starting from Friday night, three Hilux vehicles brought soldiers to Okpe LG Ward 8 Collation centre to intimidate voters
– In Sapele Ward 8, security agents beat up voters, thus scaring them away from polling units. In Udu LG Ward 7, election materials were seized by thugs.
– In Sapele Ward 4, a State Government Commissioner hired thugs to chase away voters. Worst-hit were the Polling Units 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 as well as Units 14 and 15
– No election in Ward 8 of Okpe LG.due to incomplete election materials.
– Massive thumb printing at Ward 26 in Ughelli North, Soldiers drove away voters and opposition party agents
– In Ward 9, Ethiope LG, soldiers loyal to PDP chased people from polling centres
– Oghara Junction: PDP thugs beat up APC supporters