The All Progressives Congress (APC) has stopped further participation in the ongoing local government election in Delta State, citing several irregularities.
The party spoke through a statement signed by its caretaker Publicity Secretary, Sylvester Imonina, and issued to newsmen, Saturday.
Imonina clarified members of the party who protested what they saw as irregularities were harassed and arrested by security operatives.
The statement maintained the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) had refused to allow representatives of the APC to take a record of the electoral materials which were distributed to the 25 LGAs, on Friday in Asaba.
It read in part: “Some days ago we told Deltans that there were evil machinations to deprive Deltans of their rights to choose who to lead them at the local government level.
“True to the concerns raised by our Party days ago, DSIEC, PDP and Govr. Okowa has done the evil they know how to do best.
“Saturday, 5th of March, 2021 at DSIEC headquarters in Asaba, Delta APC Representatives were not allowed to take statistics of the materials that DSIEC intended transporting to the different LGAs in the State.
“This is despite the insistence of the party’s Representatives that it is the right of political parties to inspect and confirm what material is meant for ‘what and where,” it noted.
Continuing, the statement said “11 a.m today (Saturday), materials that were purportedly transported to DSIEC offices at the LGAs and some Police Stations were yet to be distributed.
“In Burutu and Patani Local Government Areas, election materials were not taken to anywhere near the Local Government Areas.
“In LGAs where materials were purportedly taken, there were/are no results’ sheets. This to our mind is evil. There cannot be elections without results sheets!
“In Ethiope East, an unconfirmed report says that materials were purportedly taken there. However, there are also no results sheets.
“In few places in Asaba and the home town of the Governor where what looks like “elections materials” were taken to, there were no election results’ sheets too.
“Undiluted information reaching Delta APC is that DSIEC in connivance with PDP and the Governor has directed that apart from selected places where there shall be stage-managed elections, and some unscrupulous journalists made to dish out the falsehood that there was a peaceful election, it was their plans that there should be no release of election materials to any Ward.”
Imonina further posited that the “APC members and Deltans who believe in democratic tenets have been to the different DSIEC offices and Police Stations where election materials were supposedly kept, but nothing is happening in those places.
“In other words, results are being written in undisclosed homes and offices with the connivance of security men. Some APC members and leaders who peacefully protested the anti-democratic vices going on in the different DSIEC offices and Police Stations are being intimidated, harassed and humiliated.
“In particular, at the Police Station in Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area, on the instigation of PDP leaders in Isoko North, some APC stalwarts were arrested and still being kept in a police cell by the overzealous Divisional Police Officer and men under his control.
“In view of the above, Delta APC hereby boycotts the charade called ‘Delta State Local Government Council elections.’ Though, the decision of Delta APC might be painful in view of the huge resources already committed by the party and our candidates to the project of making Delta State a better place,” said the statement.
The statement however enjoined members to remain peaceful in their bid to “bringing to the attention of Deltans and Nigerians the sacrilegious acts (murdering of democracy) of DSIEC, PDP and Gov Ifeanyi Okowa.”
All efforts made to speak with agents of the APC at polling units visited in Warri South, Okpe and Udu council areas, were unsuccessful, as they were not at the venues.