Warri-based human rights activist, Mr Oghenejabor Ikimi has said the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC lacks the “temerity to conduct a free, fair and credible elections in the 25 local government council areas in the state come March 2021” owing to its political leaning.
Vanguard reports the rights activist also called for the scrapping of all state independent electoral commissions nationwide stressing that DSIEC like others lack independence.
Ikimi while reacting to the protest that trailed the ward creation in some council areas in the state, noted that grassroots democracy in all council areas of the federation has been totally vanquished owing to the total absence of a resemblance of a credible election in the said council areas.
He also lampooned the state House of Assembly for approving over a billion naira for the exercise saying, “I am at a loss as to why the toothless Delta State House of Assembly voted a whopping sum of N1.140 billion naira for the conduct of the election when the state is owing retired workers a backlog of pension since 2015 running into billions of naira.”
Speaking further, he said: “I make bold to say that in virtually all the council areas of the state, election materials and electoral officials are not seen on duty on election day, but at the end, results are allocated and announced by DSIEC officials in favour of candidates of the ruling party in the state contrary to our electoral laws.
“The recent laughable lopsided creation of state wards by DSIEC under the tacit supervision of Governor Okowa has been greeted with unrest in some council areas in Delta State, while in a recent development, the state governor appealed to Nigerians to resort to prayers in order for Nigeria to surmount her numerous challenges.
“I believe that the above challenges and unrest being created by DSIEC and the Delta state government ahead of the forthcoming local government polls in the state can only be surmounted by the state government through equity, justice, good conscience and good governance and not by the prayers of the citizenry.”