The Independent National Electoral Commission today conducted the rescheduled National Assembly and State House rerun and supplementary elections in Rivers State.
And as many had expected, following inciting speeches leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and threats by Governor Nyesom Wike, the election witnessed a number ugly events in the different LGs where polls held.
Death: According to reports, one person was feared killed in Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area, when armed men stormed the Saint Pius College at about 11.45am.
They reportedly ordered everybody to lie down as they shot sporadically and catered away some election materials.
The name of the casualty according to reports is Meebara Kormaga, a 25-year-old that came out to vote.
Late commencement of voting: Voting started late in various wards and units in Gokanna and Eleme council areas in the state.
Invasion of Amaechi’s village by gunmen
The village of Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, who had charged his supporters to be ready for retaliation of any kind during the poll, was reportedly invaded by some gunmen, who carted away electoral materials at unit 16 in Ubima ward 8, Ikwerre Local Government Area.
The gunmen allegedly led by one Presido shot sporadically into the air to scare voters before hijacking all the electoral materials at the unit, just as Sir Celestine Omehia, a former governor of the state, finished casting his vote.
Amaechi was said to led a team of securitymen in search of the hoodlums.
Missing result sheet: In unit 14 ward 8, Ubima community, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, still in Amaechi’s LGA, reports claimed that that the non availability of Form EC8A, resulted in the suspension of voting in the affected area.
The Presiding Officer (PO) Siminore Oshinokho, had claimed that the form was misplaced and will be provided later, but was not done as at the time of filing this report.
However, Dr. Lasisi Rhymo, the SPO in the area, said the PO had collected the original result sheet for ward 8 unit 14 and signed for same.
This led angry youths to apprehend the PO and demanding that he must provide the missing materials.
Protest: In Ahoada-West council area, there was protest by some political party supporters over alleged bias by INEC in the conduct of the legislative rerun elections. According them, the election materials sent to polling units were fake and they refused to allow the materials to be used for the exercise.
The aggrieved electorate chanted songs like “we no gree’’, “no result sheet, no election’’, “our votes must count.’’
The supporters said they had lost confidence in INEC’s ability to conduct a free, fair and credible election in the area. Many voters were said to have left the polling units for fear of molestation while some stood watching from a distance, awaiting eventual commencement of voting.
However, INEC Deputy Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Nick Dazang, refuted the allegations, claiming there was no way INEC could deploy fake election materials for any election.
Peaceful conduct of election: Unlike in many other areas, agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and APC in Ward 8 Unit 1, Rumumasi, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers, commended INEC for a peaceful rerun election in the area.
INEC had said it would deploy 10,294 staff to handle the election; as the police also announced the deployment of 28,000 personnel.
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