No elections in Ebonyi violence-hit areas – REC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ebonyi State has confirmed that there were no elections in three Registration Areas (wards) hit by violence in the governorship and state house of assembly in the state on Saturday.
Nigerians are voting for a second time in a fortnight in governorship and state assembly elections, with heightened concerns from observers of violence and an increased military presence. Elections for governors are being held in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, for all state assemblies, plus the administrative councils in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
Prof Godswill Obioma, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi, confirmed this while addressing newsmen in Abakaliki on Saturday on the outcome of the governorship and state assembly elections in the country.
Some heavily-armed suspected political thugs invaded three registration area camps (RACs), some parts of Ezza North local government and set ablaze the commission’s sensitive materials in the early hours of Saturday. Obioma, who made an assessment visit to the areas affected by the violence, confirmed the incident to newsmen. Obioma listed the affected wards and polling units to include Ekka with code number 02, having 16 voting points with 137 polling units and Oriuzor with code number 09 with 32 voting points. According to him, 15,452 registered voters in the ward did not participate in the elections. The registration area is in Ezza North East state Constituency. He said that Okposi Umuoghara in Ezza North West constituency was also listed as one of the RACs where sensitive election materials were set ablaze by the suspected hoodlums.
“The total voting points are 75 and the total number of registered voters affected is 36,392.
“There were no elections in the three Wards because all materials were burnt by armed thugs. ”
No life was lost. All INEC ad-hoc staff in the areas were rescued to safety by security agents and have since returned to their residences.” The commissioner added that he had given the necessary details to the commission’s Headquarters in Abuja and was awaiting further instructions. He, however, said the setting ablaze of INEC materials would only affect results in areas where results were not contained in the card readers. Obioma said that the commission was investigating unconfirmed reports of ballot-box snatching, burning of election materials in Ngbo, Ohaukwu local government area and a few other parts of the state.
He said in spite of reported cases of violence in some parts of the state, the conduct of the elections was generally peaceful and successful.
He said that sorting and counting of ballots had begun in most polling units where elections held in the 171 registration areas across the local government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 35 governorship candidates participated in the race and state assembly elections in Ebonyi. (NAN)

News Category: