January 04 2011: (NIGERIAN TRIBUNE) The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cancelled results of its ward delegate elections in 12 local government areas of Delta State.
The party said it cancelled the delegate election in the state, following confirmation of reports of irregularities in the conduct of the ward delegates congresses in the affected local government areas.
The party had already cancelled delegate elections in Adamawa, Plateau and others, on the basis of alleged irregularities, in fulfilment of the promise by the party to cancel congresses where irregularities were recorded.
The national organi-sing secretary of the PDP, Uche Secondus, in a statement, said the cancelled election would now be held in the affected local government areas tomorrow.
The affected local government areas included Patani; Bomadi; Burutu; Warri South-West; Warri North; Isoko-South; Isoko North; Warri South; Aniocha South; Ika South; Ndokwa West and Ndokwa East
EARLIER REPORT BY IKA WEEKLY (Below)
January 01 2011: (Ika Weekly) AGBOR – There was widespread allegation that the proposed congress to elect delegates that would vote in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP primaries, slated for early January, 2011 to choose candidates that will host the party’s flag in the various elective positions in the 2011 general election did not take place in Ika South local government area, just as there were reports that other LGA’s across the state have conducted theirs.
Investigations carried out by Ika Weekly revealed that in a bid to ensure that their favoured aspirants emerge as the party flag bearers, some elements within the local government area had to hijack the materials made available for the exercise even as there were allegations that some persons have been singlehandedly selected as delegates without going through the normal process of voting.
On Tuesday December, 28, 2010, when the exercise was supposed to take place there were massive protests across Ika South local government area, from aspirants for the various offices and PDP faithful, protesting the non conduct of the election, which was seen by many as the foundation for a free and fair general election in 2011.
Ika Weekly was informed that the exercise could not hold because some persons have chosen to go the old ways of manipulation of the electoral process, which is completely at variance with the One Man, One Vote slogan of both the Peoples Democratic Party, the state and federal governments.
Some of those who spoke to Ika Weekly condemned the attitude of shortchanging people through imposition of candidates on the entire local government area. They wondered why some persons can be so callous as to put their selfish interest and proclivity for self aggrandizement above the collective interest of the people, who they observed have been at the receiving end of bad leadership and unfocused representation. They were of the unanimous opinion that the only way out is for the people to stand up to their right by coming out enmasse to vote for their choice candidate and stand up to defend their votes in next years election. According to one PDP faithful who was obviously infuriated by the lastes development “Enough is enough. These self centered individuals have held us bondage for far too long. Our people must realize that the only reason we are where we are today is because our collective patrimony has been stolen by a few persons. The future of Ika South has been mortgaged. We must struggle to set ourselves free from this political bondage”.
A House of Representatives aspirant, Mr. Festus Okoh, popurlary known as Chuky Dandy who spoke to newsmen at the ward 1 secretariat said that as early as 7am himself and his supporters and other party faithful were at the party office to be part of the delegate election but were disappointed to discover that there was nobody on ground to carry out the exercise, which he said was pivotal in the forth coming PDP primaries.
His words “We are waiting for those incharge to come and conduct the congress. We have been here since 7am and up till now nothing is happening. We have gone to our chairman’s house and the secretary of the ward but uptil now we have not seen nor heard from any of the officials. We are talking of delegates election. We didn’t even see the forms and so the issue of the election is hanging. The LGA party chairman is no where to be found. We are advocating for proper delegate election, and we insist that due process must be followed. We need the chairman to bring the form to us. We will not accept any manipulation or writing of names”.
For Hon. Fidelis Igumbor, the councilor representing ward 2 in the LGA “We are suppose to have congress for the election of 3 delegates from each ward but it is very unfortunate that some ugly people who are non performers decided to hijack the papers for the exercise. The government should look into what is happening in Ika South because power belongs to the people. They have been clamoring for One man, One vote. A lot of people have been waiting for the congress. The LGA party chairman says he does not know about it. My message is that everyone should cry out. This is the era for One man, One vote. Delegate congress never took place in Ika South on Tuesday December 28, 2010”.
Another aspirants, Dr. Philip Okwuada, for state House of Assembly said, “I am here for the congress for the election of the delegates that would vote in the forth coming PDP primaries. There is nothing happening here and today is supposed to be the day for the election. For now no forms. I feel that the best way out of this logjam for One man One vote and internal democracy in PDP to be allowed For his supporters and PDP faithful in the LGA, Dr. Okwuada enjoin them to remain calm even in the face of provocation as they try to find a way of resolving the issue. “ I am reassuring the people that despite not having the congress this morning, we will certainly find a way out and the only way is for the forms to come for the conduct of proper election” he maintained.
On his part, Mr. Tony Ijeh, Treasurer of the party in ward 8, “Today we are suppose to have delegate congress but as I am speaking with you now, with the time at 12 noon, we have not seen anything. The ward chairman is not here, the party chairman is not here, the forms are not even available. There is no congress in my ward”.
All effort made by Ika Weekly to reach some top officials of the PDO in the LGA especially the party chairman proved abortive as he was said to be away at Asaba, even as at the time of filing the report. There are indications however that spirited efforts are being made to have the issue resolved amicably.