The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the ongoing legislative rerun election in six of the 23 local government areas (LGAs) of Rivers state over widespread violence.
Rivers Rerun elections
The Deputy Director of Public Affairs of Nigeria’s election governing body, Nick Dazang, has confirmed to reporters that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the ongoing re-run elections in Bonny, Andoni, Gokana, and Khana Local Government Areas of Rivers State because of violence.
According to Mr. Dazang, there was also high voters’ apathy in the areas because of the allegations of fake result sheets.
Aniedi Ikoiwak, resident electoral commissioner (REC), announced this on Saturday, adding that some party agents attacked INEC officials for allegedly using fake election materials in their areas, an allegation he denied. “All INEC materials used for the election are genuine,” he said.
Bonny, Andoni, and Khana were among the local government areas where the Rivers state government and the Peoples Democratic Party alleged fake result sheets were in circulation.
There were reports of pockets of violence and ballots snatching in the elections, although the police said the poll was largely peaceful.
For instance, some thugs were said to have snatched election materials around 2.30pm at three units in WIiyaakara Ward, Khana Local Government Area.
At Bori, also in Khana, INEC officials were reportedly scared of stepping out of their offices to conduct the election because of threats from persons wearing fake military uniform.
A 14-seater bus was burnt down in Alode, Eleme Local Government Area, and there were also reports of a shoot-out in Rumuekini, Obio Akpor Local Government Area.
The Army in the state paraded some fake soldiers arrested at Khana. However, counting of votes has begun in some polling units across the state.
Meanwhile, the Rivers state government has accused the Nigerian military of colluding with the All Progressives Congress in the state to hijack election materials.
The government in a statement around 3.58pm said it “noted with shock and disgust the role played by the military in the reported diversion of all voting materials meant for the Isaka community, in Okrika Local Government Area. This is sickening betrayal of democracy by the military, and will never be allowed to stand.”