Political and youths leaders in Warri South, Delta State, have described the cancellation of the Delta South Senatorial election result from the local government area as pre-meditated political injustice against the people and have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to revisit and review the result.
In the Senatorial election in Warri South, the PDP candidate, Michael Diden, polled about 9,000 votes while his closest rival, Joel Onowakpor of the APC had 2,000 votes. The result was however cancelled at the Zonal Collation Centre in Oleh, giving an edge to Joel Onowakpor who won only in his Isoko South local government to defeat Diden who won in the other seven local governments of Isoko North, Patani, Burutu, Bomadi, Warri South West, Warri North and Warri South.
Reflecting on the outcome, Toritseju Daniel who spoke on behalf of Warri South youths and other prominent leaders described the action of the Delta South Senatorial District Election Returning Officer as not only manipulative but tantamount to pre-meditated disenfranchisement of the electorate of Warri South.
“The Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives elections were held the same day, day same time and under the same atmosphere. It is therefore curious for the zonal returning officer to have accepted the results of the Presidential and House of Representatives elections as valid and then chose to cancel the result of the Senatorial election which was produce under the same circumstances as the others.
“We also point out that the Zonal Returning Officer had no right under the Electoral laws to cancel results which had been collated and certified at the polling unit level, at the ward level and at the local government level.”
The leaders also alleged that the Collation Officer was subjected to threads and inhuman treatment by security officers attached to the Returning Officer when he arrived Oleh to submit the result, all with a view to intimidate from defending the Warri South result.
“In view of all these abberation, we are calling on INEC to review the result of the Delta South Senatorial election and let justice be done. We also wish to warn against a repeat of such manipulation and disenfranchisement of Warri South people in the Governorship election scheduled for Saturday. At the same time, we urge the Warri South electorate to turn out en masse on Saturday and to vote peacefully and orderly so as not to give the enemies Warri people any room to manipulate the process as they did in the earlier elections.”