Voters apathy characterized the council election held across the 25 local government areas of Delta State.
Newsmen who monitored the elections across the state, report that polling materials arrived late at some of the wards during the exercise that was generally peaceful.
As at 9:15 am at Uzoigwe Primary School in Asaba, materials were yet to arrive though a handful of voters were on ground with security presence at the time when newsmen visited.
At Illah and Okpanam in Oshimili North, materials arrived at about 10.20am and distribution of materials to the various units began almost immediately.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said the community was calm, expressing hope that the polls would be peaceful.
In Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area, materials and officials of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) did not arrive voting centres until about 9.30am.
At Akumazi ward 09 in Ika North-East Local Government Area, voting was concluded as early as 1pm, as voters said materials arrived early and that the election was peaceful.
In ward 09 Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area, voting commenced at about 11am.
However, there were claims of election irregularities by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa casting his vote at DSIEC ward 3; unit 3, (INEC ward two unit one) located at Eghoma Primary School, Owa-Alero in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state, said from the report that he was getting, everything was going on peacefully.
He disclosed that materials for the election had been distributed to every local government early enough for a seamless conduct of the election, adding that the sensitive materials were distributed by Friday which, he said, have all been moved to their various polling units in the various wards across the state.
Okowa said: “From all the report I am getting thus far, everything is going on peacefully; materials have been distributed to every local government; the sensitive materials were distributed by Friday, and the information that I am getting is that they have all been moved to their various polling units in the various wards”.
After casting his votes at Federal ward 4, unit 12 in Okerenkoko Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state, the Deputy Governor, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, described the process as peaceful, free, fair and credible, saying he was impressed with the turnout of voters.
Otuaro said; “Deltans should be expecting credible conduct from the local government council leadership. Times have been challenging but we do hope very strongly that things will pick up and the dividends of democracy will be experienced having gone through this process of electing chairmen and councilors”.
Speaking at Osubi, Okpe local government area, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, described the election as peaceful, commending Deltans for coming out to cast their votes willfully.
Oborevwori said, “Our chairmanship candidate of the PDP is accepted across party line, hence the large turnout of the people and from the feelers I am getting, the people are happy to vote for our candidate, we are coasting to victory”.
The state commissioner for works, Chief James Augoye, commended DSIEC for putting materials together. The exercise for now has been very peaceful and turnout is very impressive, we started very early in ward 10 and this is unit 8 where I voted.
A leader of the PDP in the State, Olorogun John Oguma, said the exercise was credible, commending DSIEC and security agencies for the peaceful conduct of the election.
Chairmanship candidate of the PDP in Ughelli South Local Government Council, Dr Richard Kofi, described the election as peaceful, free and fair.
On his part, the Chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Okpe local government area, Mr Isaiah Esiovwa, also described the exercise as peaceful.
Former member representing Uvwie constituency at the House of Representatives, Evelyn Oboro said: “The truth is that, PDP has done well in Uvwie and the people know. From what I see, PDP is sure of victory because few days ago, the strong members of APC joined PDP.”
Chairmanship candidate of the APC, in Isoko South Local Government, Mrs Hoplyn Ayu, has raised an alarm over what she described as the poor conduct of the election.
She alleged that the electoral materials distributed by DSIEC to most of the wards in the council area were incomplete. “I don’t know how the people are going to vote without materials. We cannot reach the Electoral Officer. At first his phones were ringing and later, it was switched off”.
Speaking in the same vein, Olorogun Jaro Egbo described the election as a charm, stressing the need for constitutional amendment to allow the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, conduct local government election.
Chairman of the APC in the local government area, Mr John Urete, alleged that there were no voting materials in some of the wards, adding that the voter register in some of the wards are fake.
At Aviara where he cast his vote, Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Isoko South, Mr Victor Asasa, described the exercise as peaceful.
Member representing Uvwie constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Solomon Ighrakpata commended the electorates for coming out massively to vote for the polls
“PDP has done very well in Uvwie , PDP is sure of victory, I advise the people to support the government of the day and especially the government led by Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.”
Chairman of the PDP in Isoko South, Chief Godspower Obaro, Chieftains of the party in the council area Chief Ferguson Onwo, Chief Johnson Erijo, Sir Itiako Ikpokpo expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the election.
Chairman of the PDP in Isoko North, Prince Godwin Ogorugba, also described the election as peaceful, saying his party would have a landslide victory.
He said: “APC never campaigned for the election. PDP has no opposition because PDP is generally accepted.”
At Oyede, the Chairmanship candidate of the PDP in Isoko North Mr Christian Iteire lauded the peaceful conduct of the exercise, expressing optimism that the party would win the election.
He said: “While we did a rigorous campaign, we didn’t see same from the opposition and l believe that we will win with a wide margin.”