The campaigns and activities that culminated to the local government election in my area ughelli come to a halt just the other day.
It all began months ago, that is, the month October to be precise. Early one morning, after the first cock crowed, a town crier was heard, beating a gong and announcing that the 2018 local government election campaign was to commerce that day. We were all perplexed when we heard the news because accurate information about the election was not passed to us.
At 7am that same day, flyers and billboards were mounted around the town with pictures of the candidates on them. The candidates for each party came out and moved around the town. Among all the parties, PDP and APC were the most prominent. The PDP candidate was Dr. Ifeanyi Omaya and the APC candidate was Mr. James Amoefe.
They rallied around the town, proposing their parties manifestoes to everyone and saying every possible thing to convince the people to vote for them. They went to public places like markets, bus stations, the town garage, as we call it, and even schools and churches to campaign.
I witnessed one of the campaigns when I went to the market with my mother to buy some food stuffs. It was the APC candidate that was present there. He stood at the back of a very large truck with speaker in it and praised the market women, saying they are the backbone of the town and that without them, there would be no food in the town. He also said other things which I can’t remember clearly. At the end, he shared a token of #2000 to every market woman present there that day. My mother was also given but she rejected it. When the market women received the money, they all rejoiced and promised to vote for him during the election.
The PDP candidate was not left out. He also rallied round the town, distributing all sort of items just to win the heart of the people. However, people loved the APC candidate more because he was truthful about his words and was closer to the people than the PDP candidate.
After five months of campaign, the day of the election finally arrived. It was on the 9th of March 2018 and all the INEC officials around the town were prepared and ready for the election. The voting process started at exactly 9am in earnest. Everyone was told to stay in their various houses, except those who wanted to vote, until the voting process was over.
Police, Mopol and Army officers were assigned to each polling unit to ensure peaceful and orderly voting. But unknown to us, secret ballot papers and ballot boxes were sent ahead of time to rig the election.
The election ended at 8pm and some of the electorates went home rejoicing, thinking that the APC candidate would win in the election. The INEC officers counted the ballot papers and to the surprise of everyone, the PDP candidate was announced the winner.
There was bloodshed around the town with youth protesting that they are against the results which was announced. Police and soldiers were used to control the situation but it was to no avail.
After a week of continuous blood shed, the APC candidate decide to step down and allow the PDP candidate take the seat to avoid bloodshed but the people were not very happy with the decision he made. We all concluded that the election was rigged in favour of the PDP candidate.
But I believe that he did the right thing by stepping down for the PDP candidate. And I hope he will run for the next local government election..
My favorite local dish is pounded yam and egusi s....
Kogbodi Secondary School, P.O.Box 204,
The campaigns and activities that culminated t....