Delta Pupils to Remain at Home for Two Weeks over Elections


•  Don’t rig polls for APC, state PDP warns INEC

By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

Students and pupils in primary and secondary schools in Delta State are to remain at home for about two weeks as a result of the postponement of the changes in the general election timetable announced by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

This is coming as the Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the electoral body not to rig the forthcoming elections for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In separate statements yesterday, the Permanent Secretary, Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. S.E.O. Dietake and the State Director of Information, Mr. Paul Osahor, stated that the public and private schools across the state shall be closed between today (Monday) and Monday, February 25, 2019.

The one-week closure in the reviewed Second Term Academic Calendar would be for Mid-Term Break, the state pointed out, while expressing regrets over any inconvenience the closure of schools for teaching and learning might cause pupils, teachers, parents or guardians.

Nonetheless, affected schools in the state would resume academic work on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, but the schools shall be closed again on Friday, March 8, 2019 until March 12, 2019 when they would reopen for teaching and learning, the statement said.

The Delta State Government had ordered the closure of primary and post-primary schools in the state on Thursday and Friday last week in anticipation of the canceled February 16 presidential and National Assembly election in the country.

Meanwhile, the state PDP has also accused INEC of planning ‘’to use pre-loaded Card Reader’’ and substitute election result sheets particularly in Isoko Federal Constituency of the state, in line with the alleged directive from the leadership of the APC.

However, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Delta State presidential campaign spokesman, on behalf of the state chapter of the APC, denied the PDP allegation, claiming that it was the PDP that was plotting to rig out the APC in the state.

Also, the Publicity Secretary of the Delta State chapter of the (PDP), Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, while reacting to the postponement announced by the INEC, said that the claim of logistics challenge was unconvincing because INEC had adequate financial resources and time to conduct the election as scheduled.

Osuoza, however urged PDP members, supporters and patriots to reject the apparent desperation of the APC-led federal government by being even more resolved to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari and to resist any  attempt by INEC to do the bidding of the ruling APC.

The statement reads in part: ‘’This postponement is shocking to us first, because of the reasons adduced by the Chairman of the INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, citing logistics and operational challenges. We condemn these by INEC as untenable, since the Commission has been given all the financial resources and has had four good years to plan and put in place adequate logistics and fine tuning of its operational plans for the elections.

‘’We therefore urge our supporters and members to remain resolute by working to achieve the plan and purpose to ensure that the PDP at all levels win the elections.”