Voters being accredited during the Delta bye-election on Saturday. Photos: Dele Ogunyemi
One person was shot dead as hoodlums reportedly hijacked Saturday’s bye election into Isoko South State Constituency 1 of Delta State.
The State House of Assembly seat became vacant following the death of Hon. Kenneth Ogba in June this year.
Saturday’s shooting incident amidst the bye election was recorded at Irri Ikpide community following misunderstandings among the electorates at one of the polling units.
Witnesses said the incident occurred at about 3:15 pm when the armed hoodlums stormed Irri Ward 10, polling unit 5, to snatch away ballot papers used for the election.
The hoodlums who were reportedly armed with AK47 rifles shot sporadically into the air to scare away eligible voters before one of them shot directly at the victim for a reason that could not yet be ascertained.
Prior to the sad incident, the election had been relatively peaceful at the unit, witnesses said.
But the bye election had earlier in the day started on a shaky note at many polling units as the INEC newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for the poll was reportedly rejecting Permanent Voters Card (PVC) of eligible voters.
It was observed that the BVAS device which ought to simultaneously accredit voters with both fingerprints and photos to ensure the authenticity of the votes, was failing in some polling units across the constituency.
Speaking with newsmen at his unit, Irri ward 11, unit 6 Idheze, Chief Ross Uredi who had issues with the machine after being rejected severally noted that the system might be having failures here and there but urged voters to exercise patience with the process in order to cast their votes.
Also, while speaking at his Uro-Irri country home, after casting his vote at his unit, the Director General of the campaign organisation, Isoko south constituency 1 of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was also the former chairman of the Isoko south local government council, Sir Constantine Ikpokpo described the election as “very interesting” noting however that the only hiccup he got from some units was that the machines were not working well.
The bye election is being contested by candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Ovuakpoye Evivie; Comrade Michael Emumena Paul of the Social Democratic party (SDP) and Dr Ogaga Ifowodo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).