INEC suspends Rivers elections due to violence

By Editor on 10/03/2019

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INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu
INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu

INEC statement

For compromising the process, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, announced the suspension of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers state.

It is coming on the heels of reports that soldiers and police clashed at the Head Office of the Commission in Port Harcourt, over who should be in control of the main collation centre.

Earlier, armed soldiers manned the gate and a colonel who appeared to be their commander ordered the policemen to move away.

A policeman had returned to the gate but was refused entrance. He called on others, and while the argument started, the policemen forced the gate opened, pushing the soldiers away.

“We are equally here on duty,” one of the policemen who did not want to be named told TheCable.

“How will the army come and ask us not to do the job we’ve been deployed to do?”

Nnamdi Omoni, the police public relations officers in the state, did not answer calls placed to his phone over the issue.

Some INEC officials left the premises as a result of the clash between the security agencies.

“Since the army wants to take over, let them go and collate the results,” an angry official who didn’t want to be named told TheCable.

Out of 23 local government areas in the state, only the results of six had been brought in as of the time this report was filed.

The elections sparked tension among Rivers residents. Last week, soldiers raided clubs in Port Harcourt, arresting  fun seekers.

On Wednesday, soldiers broke into the residence of Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, Rivers state commissioner of education, and arrested him alongside some of his family members.

Civil society groups and observers have condemned the involvement of the military in elections.

Posted 10/03/2019 5:54:34 PM


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