BY AUSTIN OYIBODE
Efemena Kelly Umukoro, a contestant for the presidency of the youth wing of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) has rejected the outcome of the election which saw one Ughere Blessed as winner of the election.
Umukoro, who faulted every aspect of the election, told Emerald News on phone that the entire electoral process was fraught various degrees of irregularities, stating that the election conducted on Saturday was rather a UPU PDP youth wing election and not a UPU youth wing election.
He alleged that the electoral ground was invaded by PDP politicians who intimidated the 115 delegates nominated from all the Urhobo kingdoms in Delta central area of the state.
He told this reporter that he is heading to the court to upturn the victory of Ughere Blessed and call for another election which is expected to be more transparent and would not be invaded by PDP politicians.
He also alleged that the 115 delegated were induced with N60,000 each to vote for the candidate endorsed by the Delta state government which is led by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In a telephone interview with Emerald News, Umukoro, who said he is still the president of UPU youth wing until the court declares otherwise, said: “The election was marred by full involvement of PDP politicians. What happened today is UPU PDP youth wing election and not UPU youth wing election. As far as I am concerned I’m still the president of UPU youth wing until the court decides otherwise.
“First, the electoral committee did not follow strictly the guidelines of the election. The screening committee said to be qualified for election as president, the candidate must be 40 years old and below as the first criteria and secondly, the candidate must be a graduate.
“But we were surprised that Comrade Esefa who is over 50 years was cleared. Owen Nero who is an SSA to the governor on DESOPADEC matters was cleared, he is a politician.
“They came to the election ground and told everybody that they were stepping down for the PDP candidate, the person of Ughere Blessed.
“They knew quite well that they are above the specified age but the committee, because they are dancing to the tune of the Delta state government, cleared them. I made a walk out on the election. It was completely taken over by PDP politicians.
“We are Urhobos before politics came. Until we vote for capacity, experience and transparency, we cannot get it right as Urhobo people. I condemn the electoral process.
“Everything about that election is barbaric; it is nothing to write home about. I call on my supporters to keep calm. I’m still the president of UPU youth wing. Documents would be tendered as at when due.
“What I am saying in essence is that I am not satisfied with the processes leading to declaration of victory for Ughere Blessed. I am proceeding to the court. I am also saying that PDP politicians invaded the election ground.
“They imposed their preferred candidate on the people who conducted the election. With N60,000 per delegate. The total delegates that came for the election were 115. The person declared as winner is a candidate of the PDP. What took place is UPU PDP youth wing election. It’s a PDP faction of the youth wing and not UPU youth wing. Until the court declares otherwise I remain the president of UPU youth wing.”