The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, of using security agents to intimidate voters during Saturday’s by-election in Delta Central Senatorial District, which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared Emmanuel Aguariavwodo of PDP as winner.
APC also accused the PDP of preventing the deployment of voting materials to polling units in opposition strongholds.
In a statement yesterday by its interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said reports from its agents on the field indicated that armed soldiers and policemen were strategically deployed to intimidate voters; while trailers and tankers were used to create a blockade on roads leading to the opposition strongholds, thereby preventing voting materials from reaching there.
He said, “Worst-hit areas were Ughelli-North; Udu and Uvwie Local Governments, which are the strongholds of the APC. Also, several Hilux vehicles loaded with armed soldiers were sent to Okpe Local Government Ward 8 Collation Centre since Friday night.
“Though materials were moved from the distribution centre to local government headquarters overnight, the PDP, using security agents and thugs, have succeeded in ensuring that the materials were not ferried to polling units in several wards.
“In Sapele Ward 8, security agents even beat up voters, even before the start of accreditation, thus scaring them away from polling units. In Udu LG Ward 7, election materials were seized by thugs. These strategies were all aimed at scaring away voters and suppressing votes in opposition strongholds.”
Mr. Mohammed also accused the INEC official in Ughelli-South of insisting that 19 booklets of ballot papers and 197 loose sheets (ballot papers) be given to the Jeremy Ward 2 of the Delta State Deputy Governor, Professor Amos Agbe Utuama, SAN, even after election materials had been distributed to all the wards, including Jeremy Ward 2.
The APC spokesman added that if the said INEC official had his way, the extra materials would have been abused by agents of the PDP.