Killings, fraud, arson mar Rivers election

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Despite the assur­ances given by the security agen­cies and the Indepen­dent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that there would be ade­quate security during the governorship and House of Assembly elections, the elections which held yesterday in Rivers State were characterized by killings, maiming, arson, snatching of ballot box­es, burning of electoral materials, among other electoral atrocities.

The police hierarchy said a total of 17,000 po­licemen were deployed to Rivers State to protect the votes, lives and property during the elections. Ac­cording to the police, two policemen were supposed to man a polling unit.

But what was experi­enced in yesterday’s elec­tions was a sharp con­trast from what INEC and the Nigerian securi­ty agencies, especially, the Nigeria Police, promised the people of Rivers State.

On Friday night, less than 24 hours to the com­mencement of the elec­tions, some political thugs stormed the residence of the Rivers State Commis­sioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Joeba West, in Bu­guma, Asari Toru Local Government Area.

The thugs, numbering over 20, were said to have shot sporadically before they threw improvised ex­plosive devices (IEDs) into the Commissioner’s house, leaving it badly damaged. As at the time of filing this report, the whereabouts of Mrs. Joeba West had not been ascertained.

Besides, there were cases of killings, burn­ing of buses belonging to INEC and individuals. In fact, a man was beheaded in Buguma, while INEC REC’s office was also set ablaze. The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Asari-Toru, Ojukaye Ama­chree, and a member of the House of Representa­tives, Dawari George, con­firmed that elections did not take place in the area due to violence.


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