Enugu council polls a huge success – State Government | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

5.11.17

Enugu council polls a huge success – State Government

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Enugu council polls a huge success – State Government
The Enugu State Government has described the Saturday local government election in the State as ‎a huge success.
The Government in a statement ‎signed by Mr. Vincent Egechukwu Obetta‎, Senior Special Assistant (Intergovernmental and Electoral Process‎ to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi described claims to the contrary as baseless.
The statement read in full, “The attention of Enugu State government has been drawn to allegations of loss of lives, violence and manipulations over Saturday’s council elections in various local government councils and wards of Enugu
state as well as calls for the cancellation of the exercise.
“These allegations and calls coming from opponents of government and‎ members of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), including a former governor of the state and a Director General of a federal agency are to the effect that non availability of result sheets, late commencement of the exercise among other forms of violence were meted to their candidates and supporters while the exercise lasted.
“They claimed that their supporters were barred from performing their legitimate civic responsibilities.
“It was alleged that a former governorship candidate of the main opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Okey Ezea was manhandled; as well as allegations of death of certain persons in Oji river council during a scuffle that arose in the area.
“Also of note was the unfortunate explosion that occurred in the coal camp axis of Enugu North council as well as Obeagu in Enugu south council.
“As much as we acknowledge that no system in the world is ever perfect, we wish to restate our earlier position that elections held on Saturday in the 17 local government areas and 260 political wards were relatively peaceful and could pass the test of credibility in any election organized by any democratic government.
“Enugu State government abhors violence and would not deliberately set out to visit one on any of her citizens as no amount of struggle for power could compensate for the loss of human blood or death of her citizen or resident.
“Be that as it may however, we wish to state unequivocally that the exercise held on Saturday did not record any loss of life in any form anywhere in the state contrary to reports in some national dailies. No one was killed or attacked in Oji River Council as being peddled by some opponents of the state government as reported in the national dailies.
“There was a minor scuffle at the Oji River council secretariat involving opponents and supporters of political parties which attracted the police. In an attempt however by the police to ensure peace, minor injuries were recorded by some of those involved. This however does not translate or could go as ‘killing of three persons’ as being insinuated.
“On the late arrival of materials, we wish to state that the ENSIEC took into consideration the fact that unforeseeable circumstances contributed to the late arrival of materials in few local governments and wards and in her wisdom decided to extend voting time from 4pm to 5pm. The enlargement in time was to accommodate the observed lapse.
This was also communicated to stakeholders through the media and other
organs.
“Propaganda by Okey Ezea: One Chief Okey Ezea had peddled the propaganda that he was stabbed and beaten to a pulp by alleged government thugs during the election in his Itchi-Uwani ward 1 in Igboeze south local government council.
“We wish to state that this is not only unfortunate but goes to show the level in which certain characters can go in their ungodly acts of grabbing power at all costs. Enugu state government does not harbor thugs and would not tolerate violence in any form.
“Rather than levy allegations on the government, Ezea should be grateful that the same government apparatus was used to save him from rampaging youths of his
Itchi-Uwani ward 1 who seized him up for allegedly descending on one of the electoral officers said to be a member of his family for failing to do his bid.
“The Electoral Officer by name Mrs Victoria Ukwueze, is said to be the wife to his Uncle. Chief Ezea later proceeded to Itchi Uwani 11 with his thugs where they broke into the house of a PDP chieftain, Mrs Regina Ugwuja, and destroyed properties worth millions of naira as well as threatened to burn down the house while searching for ENSIEC result sheets. This development had angered the youths who seized him up and were at the point of devouring him when a chieftain of the PDP ran into them and took him to safety with the support of men of the Special anti-robbery squad on election monitoring.
“These developments are not enough for any discerning individual to start placing calls for the cancellation of the election. We are at a loss on how an immediate past governor of the state who superintended over the worst council elections in history during his tenure could demand the cancellation of an exercise which domestic observers and several other stakeholders agreed was credible.
“Enugu has left the old order which ensured the denial of people’s rights to a new order where elections are conducted in the most transparent manner and shall not be dragged into those dark days.
“The success recorded in last Saturday’s election is a clear demonstration that democracy has come to stay in the state and that the people have accepted the PDP led government of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to lead them to the promised land. Together, we shall take Enugu to greater heights.”

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