The controversial legislative election into the Etche/Omama Federal Constituencies which consist of a seat in the Federal House of Representative and the State House of Assembly has finally been laid to rest
The result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed the People Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner as it swept all the two contested seats in the election.
The seats contested for were for the Federal House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly of which the party emerged victorious defeating its arch and bitter rival the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The electoral umpire after the protracted election declared, Mr. Jerome Eke of the PDP as polling 15,221 votes as against Mr. Ogbonna Nwuke of the APC who polled 6,220 votes. Mr. Jerome Eke of the PDP having been judged to have scored the highest number of votes in the election was declared the winner and duly elected.
In respect of the Etche State Constituency 2 election, PDP was adjudged as scoring 4,162 while its closest rival the APC scored 1,618 votes.
The election which was finally held on Saturday the 25th of February 2017 was not without incidents and drama. It was widely reported by the media and confirmed by the police that there were several cases of violence, intimidation and electoral malpractices all in a desperate attempt to rigged the election.
However, the determination of the security officials as well as the assistance and co-operation of the locals of these constituencies the situation was contained. The election went ahead though in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation and at last winners and losers have emerged.
It would be recall that this particular election was postponed thrice because of widespread violence and killings of people between the two rivals political parties the PDP and the APC.
Elections could not hold in these notorious constituencies during the April 2015, general elections into all legislative post in the state. As a result of this it was postpone to a later date.
On March 19th, 2016, attempt by the electoral body to conduct another election into the remaining outstanding constituencies including the controversial Etche /Omama constituencies was again aborted because of widespread violence. This unfortunate situation forced the electoral umpire to again postpone the elections.
Yet again because of pressure by the Nigerian House of Senate, the electoral body INEC on December 10th conducted the rescheduled election into the remaining constituencies but that of Etche/Omama constituencies were postpone again for obvious reasons that was not unconnected with violence.
Finally, on 25th February 2017, history was made when the election into the two legislative posts in Etche/Omama constituencies were held but again not without violence.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State Mr. Aniedi Ikoiwak while addressing newsmen on the outcome of the elections lamented both the human and material resources lost by the electoral body during the conduct of the election. Mr. Ikoiwak revealed that about 25 staffs of INEC were hospitalized as a result of fracas between political thugs and the electoral staff during the election. He also listed several INEC properties that were either burnt or vandalized as a result of the election.
Mr. Ikoiwak however, thanked God that the protracted election has finally been resolved even though at a great and painful cost.