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#Bayelsadecides: Violence, ballot snatching plague supplementary poll



The Bayelsa State governorship supplementary election got under way Saturday, but just like the December 5 exercise, it was marred by violence, ballot snatching and destruction of ballot papers.

The supplementary election took place in Southern Ijaw Local government of the state and 102 other polling units scattered across 6 local government areas.

According to reports, there was heavy shooting at Amatoru community preventing electoral officers from being able to convey election materials to the Amatoru Community School for the exercise to commence.

The same happened in Amatolo, a riverine community in Southern Ijaw LGA, where sporadic shooting prevented INEC officials from getting materials to the area.

For Agoibiri community, angry youths destroyed election materials after two people were reportedly hit by stray bullets.

There were also reported violence in Otuokpoti ward in Ogbia LGA which disrupted voting in the area.

The ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP equally alleged that thugs loyal to the All Progressives Congress, APC, disrupted election in three units 6,7 and 10 in Biseni.

Similarly, two people suspected to be agents of one of the political parties were arrested for allegedly snatching a ballot box.

According to reports, the suspects were arrested by soldiers at Otuokpoti Unit 1, Ward 2, Ogbia Local Government Area, where the box was allegedly snatched.
The suspects were said to have forcefully carried the ballot box while polling was ongoing at the unit.

In a related development, a senior electoral officer at Akaibiri Ekpetiama, Yenagoa, complained that hoodlums made several attempts to hijack electoral materials from polling units in the area.

According to him, the timely intervention of the police and military personnel saved the day, adding that after voting and counting were completed, the hoodlums would not allow for the result of the election to be written.

He said that the result had been declared at the area.

DIG Arugungu, who headed the police security team for the election, directed that the result and electoral materials should be moved to INEC headquarters.

The security team led by the DIG, Police Commissioner, Director SSS, Commander, NSCDC, Commander, FRSC and others, later escorted the electoral officers and materials out of the area.

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