inec, warri

The itsekiri community in Delta State took to the streets of Warri on Monday to protest against INEC over the planned delimitation of wards across Warri South, Warri North, and Warri South-West local government areas. Armed with placards bearing messages such as “INEC must obey the Nigerian constitution” and “INEC must dismantle the illegal 12 wards before delineation,” the protesters voiced their discontent with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its committee tasked with the exercise.

During the protest, legal practitioner Fabious Demide Atie criticized INEC for not adhering to a court judgment that reduced the wards in Warri South from 12 to 10.

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He emphasized the importance of equity and justice, stating that INEC’s actions favored other tribes over the Itsekiri people. Atie called for a fair process free from vested interests and urged INEC to engage stakeholders in resolving the issue peacefully.

President of the Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC), Godwin Utiemyin, echoed these sentiments, urging INEC to postpone the delineation until a federal ward delineation exercise is conducted. He argued that the current plan could lead to demographic manipulation and electoral imbalance.

Former commissioner Chief Omolubi Newuwumi also weighed in, demanding that INEC first implement the court’s judgment reverting the wards before proceeding with any delineation exercise.

He criticized INEC for selective compliance with court orders and warned against perpetuating injustice through the creation of illegal wards.

The protesters called for dialogue and urged INEC to involve all stakeholders in a transparent and lawful process to avoid escalating tensions and fostering inclusivity in the electoral process.