One Shot Dead During Bye - Election In Delta State - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Saturday, September 11, 2021

One Shot Dead During Bye - Election In Delta State




By Mick Oseji, Asaba

One person was shot dead following bid by hoodlums to hijack ballot papers used during Saturday’s bye-election into Isoko South State Constituency 1 of Delta State.

The bye-election was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) where   candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Ovuakpoye Evivie; Michael Paul of the Social Democratic party(SDP); and Dr Ogaga Ifowodo of the All Progressives Congress(APC) were the contestants.

The Delta state House of Assembly seat for Isoko South State Constituency 1 became vacant after the death of Kenneth Ogba in June this year.

The Daily Crucible learnt that the Saturday bye - election relatively went peacefully for the better part of the morning in most polling units of the constituency until around 3pm when shooting by hoodlums erupted at Irri Ikpide community over misunderstandings among the voters at one of the polling units.

Some of the people that witnessed the shooting said the incident occurred at about 3.15pm when hoodlums invaded Irri Ward 10, Polling Unit 5 to snatch ballot papers used for the election.

The hoodlums, who were said to be armed with AK47 rifles, shot sporadically into the air, scaring away eligible voters and triggering pandemonium in the process as panic - striken voters  scampered for safety where ever possible..

It was further learnt that one of the flying bullets struck the victim and left him dead.

The bye-election also witnessed technical hitches at many polling units as the INEC newly-introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System for the poll could not recognise Permanent Voters Card of eligible voters - it was simply rejecting some of them.

It was observed that the BVAS device which ought to simultaneously accredit voters with both fingerprints and photos to ensure the authenticity of the votes, was failing in some polling units across the constituency.

Speaking with newsmen at his unit, Irri ward 11, unit 6 Idheze, Chief Ross Uredi, who had issues with the machine after being rejected severally, urged voters to exercise patience with the process in order to cast their votes.

Also, while speaking at his Uro-Irri country home, after casting his vote at his unit, the Director General of the campaign organisation, Isoko south constituency 1 of the Peoples Democratic Party, who is also a former Chairman of the Isoko South Local Government Area, Sir Constantine Ikpokpo, described the election as “very interesting,” noting, however, that the only hiccup he got from some units was that the machines were not working well.

But the Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Delta State for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Monday Udoh-Tom,  told reporters that even though some technical hitches were observed in some polling units, the exercise was smooth in most parts of the constituency.

The REC said :“To generalise that the machines flopped in the ongoing election was unfair.

“Out of 84 polling units, eight BVAS had issues. Four were as a result of wrong positioning of the cameras. It means that the voter position for snapping was noisy, meaning, the background of the pictures does not conform with BVAS requirements.”

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