Ahead of Saturday’s local government election in Delta State, a group, Gbaramatu Revolution Group, GRG, has cried out over the inequality in the distribution of the wards in the Warri South West Local Government Area of the state.
The group, in a statement by its leader, Jacob Abai, on Thursday, said while the Ijaw ethnic group, which has 63 per cent of the Council’s population, was allocated four wards, the second ethnic group, which it did not name, with 37 per cent, had six wards.
It said unless the issue was addressed, the fairness and credibility of the poll was in doubt.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has the constitutional mandate to create wards in the states. However, since 1998 there have been delimitations or creation of wards in the area.
“We condemn this gross injustice against the Ijaw of the area,” he said “We condemn the decision by INEC to refuse recognition to the electoral wards/constituencies and it is an injustice that was meted out to the people. INEC should do the right thing before any election. It should create more wards for the Ijaws of the Warri South West LGA.”
The GRG asked the electoral body to reconsider its plans to send election officials to the Council failing which its members might be compelled to take action against officials of the Commission during voting as well as those of the multinational companies operating in the area.
It warned that INEC must show sufficient cause why any electoral officer conducting Saturday’s poll must not be held accountable “for attempting to perpetrate, aid and abet non- delineation of electoral wards/constituencies in Warri South West.”
The statement added, “It is the desire of GRG that INEC provides all Nigerians each with equal political space.”