By Onome Oghenetega
As reactions continue to trial the judgement of the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal for Delta South, the United Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko for Delta South Advancement has described the sack of Senator James Manager as the winner of the 2019 Delta South senatorial election by the tribunal as a welcome development.
The group also known as Delta South United (DSU) said the tribunal judgement which cancelled and ordered for a rerun election in the district, has put to an end the era of electoral impunity by political merchants in the area.
The Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Asaba had on Saturday sacked the senator representing Delta South at the National Assembly, Senator James Manager, over electoral irregularities in the suit instituted by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan challenging the declaration of the candidate of PDP as the winner of the election.
But the DSU, while reacting the judgement, hailed the judiciary for proving yet again to be the hope of justice seekers in Nigeria.
The convener of the group, Chief Timi Dajagbasan addressing newsmen on Tuesday at the end of the group’s quarterly meeting in Oleh, Isoko South LGA of the state, noted that they were not shock by the decision of the tribunal as it was evidently clear that Manager did not win the election against his opponent, Uduaghan.
Dajagbasan, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta South, stressed that the judgement was a major step towards liberating the district from the era electoral impunity and failed representation by Senator Manager.
He stated that the people of Delta South had unshakable faith in the tribunal to stop the PDP lawmaker, Manager from running away with the mandate of the people, declaring that the Ijaws, Itsekiris, Isokos and Urhobo communities in Delta South voted against the four-time senator whom he said had performed below average at the Senate.
According to him, “We know Senator James Manager did not win the election. This is why we commend the judiciary for establishing that there was massive rigging in the areas he controlled and subsequently cancelled those humongous votes. Even Warri South that has the highest population of voters in the District could not produce a quarter of the votes from Senator Manager’s LGA that can not equate the population of Oleh.
“It is a no brainer that Manager rigged that election. The era of electoral impunity is over. Thank God the court has found his sins out. I read somewhere where he boasted that he would defeat Uduaghan even if the election is conducted fifty times.
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“It is very laughable because we know he cannot beat the former Governor Uduaghan in a free and credible election. This is not about PDP or APC. It is about who can represent us adequately. Uduaghan has a better developmental record than James Manager. We are first the united tribes of Delta South before party men and women.”
Similarly speaking, a co-convener of the group, Comrade Bethel Ogagaoghene said the group is confident the people through Dr. Uduaghan would get the mandate of Delta South from the Court of Appeal.
Ogagaoghene posited, “We would have been happier if the candidate of the APC, Dr. Emma Uduaghan was declared outright winner at the tribunal with the remaining valid votes but all hope is not lost. Senator Manager has a very bad case going to the Court of Appeal.
“We have faith in the judiciary. They would declare Uduaghan winner because we don’t see the need for a rerun rather punishment for the electoral offenders should be met out.”