From Jessica Tamaradonye, Asaba
Authorities of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), have directed that no Corps member should be posted to Kokori and other towns in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for Saturday’s bye-election for Delta Central Senatorial District.
This, apparently in fear of loosing any its members to kidnappers, might not be unconnected with recent security challenges being experienced in Kokori following the arrest of kidnap kingpin cum armed robber, Kelvin Ibruwe also known as Oniarah.
Some unidentified gunmen who were allegedly in symperty with the arrested kidnapper, had attacked the campaign team of candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the bye-election, Emmanuel Agwariavwodo.
Delta State Director of NYSC, Mrs. Olive Etukudor, made this known to journalists in Asaba, the state capital. She appealed to political gladiators and community leaders to ensure a safe atmosphere in other council areas where corps members would acting as election officials.
Meanwhile, the National Commissioner of INEC in Delta state, ismail Igbani, has expressed readiness by the Commission to conduct a free, fair and credible bye-election for Delta Central.
Igbani made this known in Asaba while presiding stakeholers’ meeting. He disclosed that all personnel and logistics requirements have been put in place for the election.
He urging political parties and their candidates to caution their supporters and to be of proper behaviour before, during and after the election.
According to Igbani, a total of 2,782 voting points have been created for the election in the 85 registration areas across the eight local government areas of the senatorial district.
“A total of 819,118 registered voters are expected to participate in the election that will be manned by 4,224 election officials. The electronic voter register and 19 addendum registers have been printed for the election,” he said.
He gave the breakdown of the election officials as 1,263 presiding officers; 2,782 assistant presiding officers all from NYSC; 85 supervising presiding officers from federal agencies; 85 LGA collation officers; and one senatorial district returning officer from federal university.
For the troubled Ethiope East, Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Delta State, Dame Gesilia Khan told the stakeholders that the electoral body would opt for students in tertiary institutions in conjunction with INEC staff to conduct the election.