The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Wednesday started the distribution of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials in Delta.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Rev. Monday Udoh-Tom, said in Asaba that the Commission started distribution from the six riverine local government areas of the state.
“We are here in the premises of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Asaba, for the purpose of distributing the sensitive and non-sensitive election materials for the Governorship and House of Assembly election that is taking place on March 18.
”Though the election was earlier shifted because of some logistics challenges and the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which was concluded on Tuesday.
”We are here today to take delivery of the materials to the various LGAs of the state, starting with the riverine areas, like Bomadi, Burutu, Patani, Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West,” he said.
Mr Udoh-Tom appealed to political parties and their candidates to work towards achieving a peaceful election in the state.
”I want to appeal to political parties in the state and those contesting to ensure a peaceful election where everyone would be allowed to cast his or her vote without violence, bitterness and rancour.
”Every person that is going to win this election is from Delta. He or she is not a foreigner.
”Therefore being an indigene of the state, we should give them all encouragement that would ensure free, fair and credible election.
”As INEC, we know what is expected of us to go out on election day. Sometime, we meet hostile communities and this always make work difficult for us.
”We appeal that everybody should sheathe their swords and go out for peaceful election where the winner will be happy and the loser will embrace the winner,” he said.
Mr Udoh-Tom also said that 18 political parties had fielded candidates for the Governorship election and 322 candidates for the Houses of Assembly election.
On his part, the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council in Delta, Emeka Bidokwu, said political parties confirmed that the materials were complete and intact before the commencement of the distribution.
“We have confirmed that the materials are complete and intact. The various political parties are all represented here.
”The REC will sign all the results sheets going out and the Electoral Officers will also sign the result sheets from the field in order to avoid fake results sheets.
”This is a grassroots election and we have done our best to ensure there is peace in the state,” he said.