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Okowa Hails Smooth Conduct Of LG Polls

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has lauded the State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) for the smooth conduct of the local government elections in the state.
Okowa made the commendation on Saturday shortly after casting his vote at Unit 3, Ward 3, Owa-Alero, Ika North-East Local Government Area.
“ I am satisfied with the process because of the smooth conduct of the election and DSIEC has given assurance that the election will be credible, free and fair.
“So far, you can see that people have come out to cast their votes in a peaceful atmosphere and I must commend the electoral body.”
The governor also lauded the electoral process adopted by DSIEC which entailed simultaneous accreditation and voting, which reduced the crowding of polling booths.
“The voting pattern adopted by DSIEC is such that once you are accredited, you cast your vote and you go for your business.
“This is unlike in the past when accreditation commenced at  8 a.m. and ended at 12 noon before voting.
He noted that the process helped to make accreditation and voting easier, saying that it had also helped to compel the electorate to leave the voting centre immediately after casting their votes.
On reports across the state, Okowa disclosed that soldiers stopped some electoral officials in Ndokwa East Local Government Area from moving materials, but the  situation was resolved amicably.
The governor also disclosed that some persons allegedly working for an opposition party attacked the DSIEC office in Ughelli, but the quick intervention of security agents restored normalcy.
“It is unfortunate that some persons were not ready for the elections and they resorted to violence, but thank God the situation was however, put under control.
“I can assure you that generally, from information available to me, the state is calm and voting is in progress in the state,” Okowa said.
Some voters who spoke at some of the polling centres visited, expressed confidence in the electoral process.
At about 11.45 a.m., voters were seen exercising their rights at Ward 9, Akumazi; some of them said materials arrived early and there was no crisis as the election was peaceful.
However, security agents arrested two hoodlums suspected to be political thugs with guns at Igbodo,  Ika North-East Local Government Area.
A federal lawmaker, Rep. Victor Nwaokolo, said the trouble makers were caught with the guns while attempting to disrupt the election.
He said that security agents acted on a tip off and arrested them, adding that voting eventually took place in a very peaceful atmosphere after the incident.
In Emevor, Isoko North Local Government Area, a resident, Dr. Nelson Ejakpovi, said voting however started at about 12 noon.
He added that the people came out enmasss to cast their votes in a peaceful atmoshere
In Ndokwa East, a Chieftain of the PDP, Chief Godswill Obielum, who lauded the electoral process, told reporters that voting started early at Ward 20, Ushie, Ndokwa East Local Government Area.
“I score DSIEC very high in this election, they were prepared and it gave our people confidence. They came out in the morning and were able to vote in a peaceful atmosphere without any fear of intimidation,” he said.
Howver, the State Commissioner for Lands, Chief Chika Ossai  said that due to the terrain of the state which required material passing through different local government areas from Aboh to iselegu, voting items arrived late.
He said materials arrived at about 11 a. m., adding that he cast his vote at about 12.30 p.m. at DSIEC Ward 3, Unit 5, Iselegu.
Also, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah who voted at Ward 12, Unit 3, Okpanam, said voting materials were delayed because DSIEC officials waited for security agents to deploy officers to escort voting materials.
He, however, lauded the electoral process, noting that the concept of voting immediately after accreditation helped in decongesting the polling booths as people left for their homes after voting.
In Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area, a cheiftain of APC, Chief George Okafor, lauded the smooth conduct of the elections, which he said was devoid of violence.
Okafor, who is the Vice chairman, APC Delta North, voted at unit 5, Ward 3, Ogwashi-Uku.
He, however, appealed to DSIEC to ensure that the peoples’ votes counted at the end of the day.
“Everything is going on well; you can see people voting in a peaceful atmosphere.
“However, what we expect from DSIEC is to ensure that whatever the people voted here today, let the result stand,” he said.
On the late arrival of materials, DSIEC Collation Officer for Aniocha South, Mr. Sunday Okwudihu, told NAN that it was due to the slow mobilisation of security agents to the polling units.
“As you can see, we are still trying to get the security agents to the various polling units across the LGA, that is why we are experiencing this delay that you are seeing,” he said.

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Group Urges FG To Ignore Campaign Of Calumny Against Sylva

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The Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) has urged the Federal Government to ignore the ongoing campaigns of calumny against Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Prince Marley, and Mr Godwin Opiuyo, Chairman and Secretary of Eastern zone of MOSIEND in Yenogoa.
The group said it had noted  with dismay that some unpatriotic individuals, envious of the performance of some political office holders, had resorted to cheap blackmail to discredit them.
MOSIEND stated that as a leading advocacy group in the Niger Delta, it would not fold its arms and watch faceless groups haul malicious and baseless claims to leaders from the region.
“The latest is the unwarranted media mudslinging from one shadowy bunch of fugitive agent provocateurs parading themselves as Nigerians for Transformational Change (NTC).
“The group with no known address, calling for the sack of the Chief Sylva over summons by a US District Court in Pennsylvania over a defamation of character case, which he instituted against one Jackson Ude is frivolous,” MOSIEND stated.
The group, in dismissing the call noted that the case of libel was instituted by Sylva against  Ude in the US, adding that Sylva was the plaintiff while Ude was the Respondent/Defendant.
MOSIEND also noted that the matter has not been concluded thus the brains behind the blackmail was to whip up public sentiment against Sylva amounts to prejudice because the case was in court.
They urged the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to go after the masterminds of the smear campaign and bring them to face the extant laws as it concerns inciting the public based on falsehood.

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Parties’ Campaign Committees: Group Makes Case For PWDs Inclusion

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The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has said that persons with disabilities should be included in campaign committees for elections.
The CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, stated this on Friday during a press conference, at the Elomaz Hotel, in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
Anyaele stated that political parties had the responsibility of taking appropriate measures to create space for equal opportunity for persons living with disabilities.
He said, “Political parties need to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the campaign committees and campaign podiums should be made accessible to all with the provision of sign language interpreters, access to information and disability inclusive manifesto.
“INEC should ensure that they take appropriate steps to review all the previous off circle elections reports submitted by organisations of and for persons with disabilities, for the identification of forms and patterns as well as extent of complaints on persons with disabilities struggle on election days.
“This is with the view of finding solutions with scenario building. Findings from previous election reports shows that a bulk of the problems faced by Persons with disabilities participate on Election Day.”
The Executive Director urged the media to continue its support to the disability community.
He said, “The media is our eyes, ears and legs. With the help of the media, issues of concern to persons with disabilities would be mainstreamed in the 2023 general election conversations.”
The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State Inter Party Advisory Council, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Richard Echigbue, stated that there was a need for people with disabilities to belong to a party in order to have a voice.
He said, “We encourage people living with disabilities to come and join a party and we can start the conversation from there.
“Our party for example, is based on egalitarian principles where equity reigns, there’s no discrimination or inequality.
“As long as you’re human, and you have the capability to perform, you’ll be given a chance. Other parties should also try and incorporate people living with disabilities into their system.”

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Osun APC, PDP Trade Blame Over Killings

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The Osun State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Saturday traded blame over reported killing of two members of the ruling party.
Three people were reportedly killed in Ede, the hometown of the Osun State Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, last Friday and Saturday while members of PDP were allegedly sharing balance of governorship election fund.
The incident also led to razing of residence of Osun Assembly Minority leader of PDP, Babajide Kofoworola.
A statement by APC Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun through his media aide, Kola Olabisi, stated that the alleged killings of the two APC members by suspected PDP thugs in Ede during the fracas over disagreement on the sharing formula of the PDP left-over election fund was senseless, primitive and wicked.
Famodun noted that the shameful and wicked act of killings of fellow human beings over electoral loots by the suspected PDP thugs was an indication that the Osun PDP is fundamentally challenged.
He urged the Osun State Commissioner of Police to thoroughly investigate the incident, especially in the area that concerns an alleged compromised police chief who is said to be eyeing the position of the Chief Security Officer(CSO) to Senator Ademola Adeleke.
However, the PDP in a statement by the Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke through his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, alleged that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is planning to destabilise Osun State ahead of his exit from office in November.
He tasked the security agencies to swing into action and bring to book perpetrators of fatal attack and razing of the house of Osun State House of Assembly Minority Leader, Akogun Babajide Kofoworola in a reprisal attack.
The statement maintained that Adeleke strongly condemned the arson attacks on the lawmaker’s family and warned Governor Oyetola not to plunge Osun State into chaos as a consequence of his loss at the poll.

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