The element of spice in every game is the competitive nature that flows with it. Without competition and rivalry, a game will basically lose its zest and becomes fundamentally boring. Politics is one of those kind of games that borders on competition and rivalry in that regard.

There must be a level playing ground for contests, before the winner and the loser can be ascertained. The recent Local Government polls that were conducted by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) was a historical disgrace.

It has evidentially proven the fact that the state Government is not sincere with its campaigns for the enthronement of a modern day Delta State via matching words and promises with deeds and conducts.
The episode on the 6th of March, 2021 was a monumental fraud, one that has never been seen in any part of this world. Hitherto, we have been experiencing various kinds of Electoral Malpractices in Nigeria, but the scenario on that fateful day was a grand and sophisticated fraud.
The DSIEC in conspiracy with the PDP, in what looked like a state orchestrated agendum, began the entire hanky panky game by substituting the names of the APC’s submitted lists of their would-be ‘Supervisors’, especially in Ika North-East Local Government Area.
At the DSIEC office, in Owa-Oyibu, Headquarters of the Local Government Area, the thugs as allegedly hired by PDP, intimidated other Party Agents and physically assaulted them. It was even alleged that the Divisional Police Office (D.P.O.) of Owa-Oyibu Police Division, who was trying to make a video and as well take some photographs of the sacrilege as being perpetrated, was rough-handled in an attempt to seize his personal mobile phone.

Coming down to the Wards, most of the Primary Schools that were supposed to be used as Polling Centres, especially in Ika North-East Local Government Area, were under locks and keys.
Electoral Materials were hijacked, seized and taken to the individual homes of some PDP acclaimed leaders, within the various Communities. The Electorates who were stranded and frustrated, went home without even voting in the end, especially in my home town Umunede and other neighbouring Communities like, Mbiri, Ute-Erumu, Ute Okpu, Igbodo and so many other towns and villages in Ika North-East Local Government Area of the state.

There were basically no election in most parts of the state as the shameful conspiracy made APC to pull out of the election, in order to avoid confrontations that may lead to mayhem.
With results written in favour of the PDP, prior to the elections, as a confirmation of their various campaign statements, that oppositions were wasting their time and resources, the will of the people has been upturned once again.

The most hilarious part of the story is that the DSIEC, shamelessly came up with a result of the affected areas, whose process were ab-initio a nullity and went on to announce them.

That election is rather one of the most unfortunate event that can be associated with the state in recent times and the significance of such manner of impunity is that the degree of confidence in our people, with regards to the Government of the state, is diminished already.

Sadly, the way Malpractices are being encouraged and celebrated out of sentiments in this part of the world is our greatest undoing as a people. If we fail to initiate a change of attitude in every level of life we find ourselves, we will continually dwell within the Circle of Doom, because “what goes around, comes around”.

By: Hon. Sebastine Okoh

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