Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of Saturday’s local government council elections in the state.
After casting his vote at DSIEC Ward 3; unit 3 at Eghoma Primary School, Owa-Alero in the state’s Ika North East Local Government Area, Okowa told reporters.
According to the governor, everything was going well based on the information he was receiving.
He stated that election materials were distributed to each local government early enough to ensure a smooth election process.
“From all the report I am getting thus far, everything is going on peacefully; materials have been distributed to every local government; the sensitive materials were distributed by Friday.
“And the information that I am getting is that they have all been moved to their various polling units in the various wards.
“We don’t have much of the challenge here (his polling unit) and I think in many parts of the state, we don’t have much of the challenge because, of the 500 councillors, I think about 240 of them have been returned unopposed,” he said.
According to him, about half of the councillors are running in the election; the rest have been re-elected without opposition. As a result, the atmosphere is more tranquil.
“As I did cast my vote here, the vote was just for the chairmanship candidate alone because the councillor in this place has been returned unopposed
“The place is peaceful and in the course of the day, we will be getting more report. The security agencies have been fully mobilised and we hope that everything goes on very smoothly,” he said
In preparation for the election, Okowa said that the PDP ran a huge ward-by-ward and unit-by-unit campaign.
He also stated that in some local governments, the opposition ran a campaign
“But there are some local governments that they (the opposition) did not do campaign at all because it is when you have the strength that you will go on to do a campaign.
“As I said earlier, it is about 240 councilors that have been returned unopposed, 260 of them which is also a sizeable number, are contesting the elections.
“Again, 24 local government council chairmen are contesting the election. So, there were massive campaigns,” he added.
Okowa said the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provided for a democratically elected local government council, which is why he wanted to hold local government council elections.
He went on to say that every governor who did not hold local government elections was simply disobeying the country’s Constitution, which he vowed to uphold.
“Therefore, I had always insisted and maintained that I will never at any point in time, have what we called caretaker committees and I think it is only fair that we should be obedient to the Constitution since it has provided for a democratically elected local government,” he stated.
Mr Charles Aniagwu, the state Commissioner for Information, characterized the local government council elections as “generally peaceful.”
Aniagwu spoke after voting in Akumazi Umuocha, Ika North East Local Government Area of the state’s ward 9, unit 2.
He said that elections in the community were often like a competition between brothers, with no animosity.
“We take it (election) like a new yam festival where you don’t need to enlighten anybody on how to behave. Everybody knows it is a contest and no need to fight. It is just the tradition of the people of the community.
“We put our town first before any contest and we do know that at the end of the day, it means well for the community, such that anyone that wins, you will see the next person embracing him. So, it is a contest between brothers,” the commissioner said.
Mr Sunday Onyenake, an APC councillor candidate from the same ward, also stated that the elections were peaceful.
“We don’t fight for elections. I am satisfied with what is happening now as far as this local government council election is concerned,” Onyenake said.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN