Corps Members Back Out Of Polls In S'South Delta


Some youth corps members, who served as INEC ad-hoc staff in Delta State during the March 28 presidential and the National Assembly elections, have pulled of Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assembly election citing threat to life.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Anidi Ikowak, in an interview with journalists on Thursday, said an unspecified number of corps members had written to the National Youth Service Corps to say they would not participate for fear that violent may erupt in some parts of the state during the elections.
Ikowak said an arrangement was already being made to replace the corps members with INEC staff or officials of some other federal agencies.
Ikowak said, “We cannot really say the number of the corps members who don’t want to participate in the election because they don’t write to us. They wrote to the NYSC, and then the NYSC wrote to us that in so and so areas there are corps members who said they will not participate because of threat to life. What we do in instances like this is to look at such areas and deploy INEC staff or staff of other federal agencies to go there and work in their place.”
Meanwhile, transportation of electoral material to local government areas started on Thursday. Several vehicles were seen transporting these materials while some others were being sorted out at the INEC office in Asaba.
The REC said the commission was ready and on course with its target of ensuring credible, free and fair elections.
He said, “Since morning, I’ve been endorsing result sheets. I’ve also ordered the electoral officers to endorse materials going into the field. This is just so that the electorate will have confidence in the process.
“In terms of logistics we have made arrangement with the drivers directly. We need about 1200 vehicles. We have agreed that all the vehicles must report tomorrow (Friday) morning. We have also set some people to monitor the local governments to see the number of vehicles that will report at each of them.
“The last election, we did not conduct it 100 per cent from the RACs. This time round we want to make sure that by Friday evening, there will be nothing left outside the RACs. That way it would be easy to commence elections by 8am on Saturday. That is our target and so far we are on course.”
The REC added that the Delta Central senatorial election that was declared inconclusive will not be held on April 11 due to inadequate manpower in the affected area. He said a new date will be announced for it.
He, however, said the Ethiope Federal Constituency election will hold alongside the governorship and state House of Assembly election on Saturday.