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Enugu council election was free, fair: State Government

By Charles Iwuoha, Enugu on 06/11/2017

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 •Governor Ugwuanyi
•Governor Ugwuanyi

The Enugu State Government has described as untrue allegations that there was loss of lives, as well as violence and manipulations during last Saturday’s local council elections in various parts of the state.

A statement signed by Mr. Vincent Egechukwu Obetta, Senior Special Assistant, Intergovernmental and Electoral Process, insisted that the election was free and fair. It dismissed the claims of the main opposition party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that their supporters were barred from performing their legitimate civic responsibilities to the candidates of their party.

According to the statement, there was no atom of truth that a former governorship candidate of 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.

Obetta said in the statement: “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 organised 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.

“One Chief Okey Ezea had peddled the propaganda that he was stabbed and beaten to a pulp by alleged government thugs during the election at 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 harbour 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 obey his bid.

“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. 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.”

Source News Express

Posted 06/11/2017 09:15:27 AM


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