Violence, Thuggery Mar Delta Council Poll

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan

Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State

Jethro Ibileke/Warri

Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State
Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State

The local government election held on Saturday across Delta State turned violent as no fewer than 10 persons sustained serious machete cuts and over 20 vehicles destroyed in Koko, administrative headquarters of Warri North local government area and community of the state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan.

All those injured were said to be members of opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. They were allegedly attacked by thugs suspected to be loyal to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the Divisional Police headquarters in the town.

The thugs who freely used dangerous weapons, including machetes, bottles and woods, attacked their opponents just as the policemen at the gate of the police station looked in the other direction.

Not less than 10 persons, including women and an unidentified councillorship candidate, who sustained deep machete cuts and were later ‎rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.

Trouble was said to have started when APC supporters alleged that the electoral materials supplied to the local government which was kept in custody of the divisional police headquarters, especially the sensitive materials, were tampered with at about 10:00 p.m. on Friday and insisted that the materials must be inspected by agents of all the political parties before being distributed.

This however did not go down well with supporters of the PDP who insisted that the shortfall should be addressed at the ward level. They then forcefully opened the gates of the police station, resulting in a free for all between the APC and the PDP supporters.

Men of the Nigerian Army who were called upon to restore some normalcy after forcing scores of the party supporters to lie and roll in dirty water.

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Collins Aburime and Petrus Bamigho who were among the victims of the alleged military brutality also had their vehicle vandalized, described the action of the military as inhuman and undemocratic.

The duo explained that they were sitting peacefully when the military officers ordered all of them to leave the vicinity of the police station, noting that, the officers forcefully ejected them from the place and ordered over 20 of them to roll in stagnant water.

The electoral materials were finally taken out of the police station to unknown destination at about 1:20 p.m., by officials of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC), escorted by anti-crime police van.

It could be authoritatively reported that no voting take place in Koko, as at 4:00 p.m. when P.M. NEWS finally left the town‎.

The same situation was reported in Ozoro, Ughelli, Warri Mosogar and Sapele where voting materials were said not to have been seen at about 2:00 p.m.

There were also pockets of violence in most majour towns in Delta South and Central, including Warri, Ughelli and Abraka.

The situation was however different in Delta North where voting reportedly went peacefully and undisturbed.

A chieftain of the PDP, Mike Diden, said that although APC supporters were out to frustrate the conduct of the election in the locality, the election went on peacefully. He commended security operatives for living up to expectation.

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