Few weeks to the general elections, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Delta state chapter has expressed fear over the conduct of the general elections, especially the governorship poll in the state.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday after a stakeholders meeting at Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters, Asaba, Delta state chairman of PDP, Kingsley Esiso, said the electoral umpire, the police and sister security agencies should be neutral while carrying out their duties.
“Our problem is the security agencies; they should give a level playing ground to all parties contesting the elections”, Esiso said.
Another respondent, state Chairman, Labour Party, Chief Tony Ezeagwu, who also expressed fear, said the 2019 elections should not be like any other one where INEC and security agencies were used to rig the election.
He called on security agencies to play neutral role in the elections and protect lives and property.
The police commissioner in the state, Anthony Ogbizi Michael, assured political parties and their candidates that the police and other sister agencies would be neutral, warning candidates who want to employ the services of thugs to desist from it.
“Do not tear the political posters of other candidates, the police can’t take side. The police and other sister security agencies will be neutral, we will provide the needed security but please help us to realize it,” he said.
Earlier, INEC acting administrative secretary, Mr. Felix Enabor, said the importance of security meeting ahead of the general election could not be over emphasized.
Enabor told political party chairmen, their governorship candidates and heads of security agencies that political gladiators could only rule and bring development to the society where violence and rancor are absent.
He said: “No matter the good plans you stakeholders have for the state, rancor can derail their manifestation in one way or the other. That is why this kind of meting is imperative especially as the general elections are just a few weeks away”.
While assuring all contestants of the commission’s neutrality, he promised that contestants would enjoy a level playing field before, during and after the elections, assuring that “our goal is to deliver a free, fair, credible and conclusive elections”, pointing out that there must be an enabling environment for the electoral umpire to do its work.
He disclosed that 49 political parties would be participating in the governorship election in the state, while the final list of qualified candidates would be made public by the commission on 17th January, for presidential and governorship would be 31st respectively.
He also revealed that 2, 823, 161 persons were registered in the state, as the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), have been printed and collection on, lamenting that the collection of PVC by Deltans was not encouraging as 465, 317 PVCs are yet to be collected.
Highlight of the event was the signing of the peace accord by chairmen of political parties and their governorship candidates.