Polls: Violence in Akwa Ibom, Osun, Lagos, Rivers, Imo; security agents storm Amaechi’s house


Governorship and National Assembly elections took off on Saturday on a violent note.
In Akwa Ibom State, a commissioner and scores of thugs stormed Uruan and started shooting.
The heavily-armed thugs snatched electoral materials in the local government.
Voters were seen running helter-skelter to avoid being hit by stray bullets.
Later, a former commissioner joined the serving commissioner to unleash terror on voters and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In Wards 1 and 2, the duo, with close to 50 thugs dressed in army uniforms, carted away packages containing result sheets.
In Ikot Ekpene, as at 9.06am, there were no electoral materials at all. Voters were just stranded.
In Etinan Local Government area, at Urban Ward 1, Unit 006, INEC officials complained of inadequate ballot papers, claiming they got 650 papers as against 750 needed.
An APC party agent at the unit, Mr Iniobong Jackson, said that the party faithful would not allow voting in the unit until all materials were provided.
Another complaint of non provision of result sheets was made at Northen Iman Ward 2 in the local government area.
At 9 a.m., the NYSC members conducting elections at QIC Primary School in Awa Ward 1, Onna Local Government Area, had yet to begin accreditation, complaining of non-payment of their allowance.
In Uyo Local Government Area, Ward 2, Unit 9 on Ikot Ekpene road, the polling officials complained of slow speed of card readers and non-recognition of finger prints.
Card readers in Ekong Street, Ward 2, Unit 25, were, however, not configured for the day’s activities.
Therefore, all accredited voters during the March 28 elections were rejected by the machine for having been accredited earlier.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Austin Okojie, said that all INEC officials had been instructed on measures to take to curb any challenge encountered in the elections.
“They are to use incident forms and resort to manual accreditation, where the card readers fail,” Okojie said.
In Anambra State, a prominent official of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) and a prominent oil magnate were also seen with thugs parading streets. They later stormed INEC office in Ekwusigo Local Government and carted away result sheets and Forms EC8(A) and EC8(8).
In Osun State, gunmen stormed a polling zone in Ilase-Ijesa, Obokun Local Government, scared away voters and INEC officials and snatched electoral materials.
Security officials later stormed the scene and chased away the thugs. Immediately the security agents left, the gunmen returned, shooting to scare away voters.
In Rivers State, security agents stormed the house of Governor Rotimi Amaechi in Ubima, searching for thugs.
When they didn’t see any thug in the governor’s house, the security agents later stormed the house of his Chief of Staff, Tony Okocha near Rumuigbo. Although no thug was seen in his house, he was arrested.
Another set of security agents stormed the house of the Commissioner for Agriculture, Emma Cinnda located at Location Road in Orazi town in search of weapons. Cinnda escaped before their arrival.
Exchange of gunfire was heard at Elele, Ubima and Isiokpo communities.
Freedom Online also learned that security agents were looking for Senator Magnus Abe (River East District). It is not clear what the senator did.
In Lagos, there was violence in Bariga area where accreditation was disrupted due to gunshots from thugs.
In Delta, accreditation of voters began at 8 a.m. in Asaba, with voters turning up at various polling stations for the exercise.
At Uzoigwe Primary School, Ward 9, Oshimili South Local Government Area, accreditation started on schedule in the 14 polling units.
The Presiding Officer in Ward 9, Unit 1, Miss Uzamere Odion, said that the exercise started as planned and was going on smoothly.
The card reader in unit 11 of the ward malfunctioned and the voters agitated over the situation.
One of the voters, Mrs Ngozi Agada, said that she had been in the polling station since 7 a.m. and would not leave until she got accredited.
The Presiding Officer, Mr Chijioke Eze, said the device malfunctioned and that he had informed INEC headquarters, Asaba, about it.
At St. John Bosco’s Catholic Church (Ward 8) and Umudaike (Ward 8) both in Asaba, accreditation started at 8.05 a.m. and the card readers were used.
At Abuato Primary School Asaba, (Ward 5) the exercise commenced on schedule in the five units at the polling station.
It was the same situation in Ward 6, units 3 and 4 at Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area.
However, electoral officials turned up late with voting materials in Yuwuren College (Ward 5) in Warri South Local Government Area.
The Electoral Officer in the local government area, Mrs Fidelia Omoile, said the materials were distributed on Friday.
In Imo State, the leader of Imo 10,000 Jobs Restoration Forum, Comrade Ugonna Omereonye, was shot dead.
Condemning the killing, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim, described it as ‘pathetic, crude and inhuman’.
Omereonye was murdered in his home by some thugs.
Ohakim, who spoke in Owerri , described Ugo’s death as a great loss to youths of the state.
He said that the death had robbed the state of a great one who was not pleased about bad governance in Imo and was after the good of the youths.
The former governor, who described those who killed Ugonna as “barbarians”, wondered why some people could take another person’s life without any compunction.
He commiserated with the family of the late Ugo and prayed to God to strengthen them in their moment of grief.
Ohakim called on Imo youths to come out in large numbers and vote for PDP.
“This Okorocha’s government that is insensitive to the plight of the people of Imo State must go. We can’t allow a government that sacked 10,000 graduates of the state and refused to create employment for youths to continue ,” he said.


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