Deltans have continued to count their losses through alleged denial of their legitimate civic duties by the Nigerian military during last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly polls.
More than 400 electorates were allegedly disenfranchised at ward 13 unit 3 of Owhelogbo in Isoko North local government area of Delta State by the Nigeria Army deployed to the area to maintain peace during the Presidential and National assembly election.
Speaking to newsmen at the polling station, Prince Godwin Ogorugba, Chairman Peoples Democratic Party Isoko North decried the manner soldiers on patrol prevented electorates from voting at 2.30pm. Ogorugba said, voting materials arrived at the unit by 10.am while accreditation and voting commenced at 12.pm.
He stated that the smart card readers malfunctioned during accreditation which according to him delayed the voting process. Prince Ogorugba said, at 2.30pm while the electorates queued to vote under the sun with their PVC, the soldiers came and stopped the people from voting, saying voting time is over.
He maintained that all efforts to persuade the soldiers to allow extra time was resisted and the electorates went back home disappointed.
Similarly at Emede ward 05 unit 3, were hon. Joel Thomas Onowakpor, candidate for Isoko federal house of representatives under the All Progressive Congress voted, bemoan late arrival of materials at 2.pm even as the card readers failed to accredit him and other eligible voters over one hour.
Onowakpor described the situation as embarrassment culpable of causing apprehension to the electorates which he said could disenfranchise eligible voters. He urged INEC to be more transparent and train the adhoc staff to avoid same problem during subsequent election even as he promise to calm eligible voters standing under the sun.
At Olomoro ward 06, election voting materials arrived at 1.30pm but expected ballot papers for House of Representatives numbering 11,032 falls short to 9,500 and were rejected.
Party agents insisted on going ahead with the Presidential and senate election and asked the INEC official to return the materials and postpone that election to another date.
The election was however peaceful at Uzere, Enwhe, Okpolo – Enwhe, Oleh, Irri and other communities of Isoko South except for the initial card reader failure. Chief Iduh Amadhe, president general of Isoko development union, Chief Bashorun Askia Ogieh, director finance and administration DESOPADEC commended INEC for the conduct of peaceful election at ward 04 Uzere community.
The chairman of Isoko North local government area, hon Emmanuel Egbabor said, the election was peaceful in all the units of Ozoro ward 03 and information at his disposal reveals that the election was also peaceful at Ofagbe, Iyede, Okpe, Otibio,Ozoro ward 02 and other communities in Isoko North except for the card reader and network failure that delayed the process.
He urged INCE to improve on the smart card reader and organize more training for the adhoc staff for subsequent election.
Egbabor commended the security agents, noting that there was no incident of fight at the time of filing the report.