There is palpable tension in Irri community and several voting areas located in Isoko South State Constituency 1 of Delta state as a voter was reportedly shot dead during the Saturday’s bye-election, marred by violence and hitches as a result of the newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It was gathered that some hoodlums invaded a polling unit in Irri and made away with election materials.
The hoodlums were said to have stormed the polling units with sophisticated weapons as Ak-47 and shot sporadically into the air.
The victim who was hit by a stray bullet was said to be taken to a hospital to seek medical treatment but was futile as he gave up the ghost.
One eyewitness, Mr. Jefferson Ogorure, was quoted to have said” I have never seen this type of deadly situation in politics in a mere House of Assembly bye-election, calling on security agents to nip in the bud the ugly situation”.
This development is similar to reports of gunshots injuries sustained by APC agents in Oleh and other voting locations in the Isoko South constituency 1.
“We therefore call for immediate deployment of security agents to arrest this precarious situation in order not to allow it to fester on.”
However, the Delta State police command is yet to issue an official statement on the incident.
Also, the newly introduced BVAS for voter’s accreditation reportedly rejected Permanent Voters Card (PVC) of eligible voters, becoming a source of concern for voters.
The New Diplomat had earlier reported that the BVAS, which is being used in Isoko South Constituency for the first time has the capability for both fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation.
Every voter with a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) was supposed to be authenticated via fingerprint and facial recognition before he or she is allowed to vote, however, reports said that process failed in many voting locations in the constituency, leading to confusion and chaos among voters and party agents.
A total of 14 political parties took part in the bye-election including the two major political parties in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Recall that the seat became vacant following the death of the House member representing the area, Kenneth Ogba in July. Ogba was elected on the platform of the PDP.
The bye-election is keenly contested by candidates of the PDP, Hon. Ovuakpoye Evivie; Michael Emumena Paul of the Social Democratic party; and Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo of the All Progressives Congress.