Ballot snatching mars voting in Bayelsa

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Mike Odiegwu

Unidentified youths were said to have laid an ambush for the supervisors of the Independent National Electoral Commission dispossessing them of the voting materials meant for the National Assembly elections in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State on Saturday.

There were also reports of snatching of electoral materials in Adagbabiri and Odoni, Sagbama Local Government Area. Our correspondent learnt that the materials targeted by hoodlums were result sheets.

An INEC official, who confirmed the development to our correspondent, said the ballot snatchers drove off to an unknown destination after the act.

The official, who craved anonymity, said immediately the incident happened, the electoral officer of the local government area reported the case to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Edwin Nwatalari.

He said Nwatalari later reported the incident to the Joint Task Force, urging the security body to recover the materials.

Our correspondent however learnt that INEC had linked the stolen materials to a lawmaker in the area and that the commission intended to prosecute him.

In Otuasiga, Ogbia Local Government Area, a member of the Labour Party, whose name was given as Eneiye Igbuasi, was given a deep cut on the head by youths suspected to be members of the PDP.

At Omomema-Otuoke Polling Unit close to where President Goodluck Jonathan voted there were no ballot papers until 1:30pm when our correspondent left the area.

A few voters who did their accreditation in the unit came back and sat for hours waiting for the ballot papers meant for the unit to arrive.

Also protest erupted in some polling units over missing names from the voter registers.

In Otuasega, voters with voter cards complained that their names were missing from the registers.

Apart from the cases of violence and snatching of materials in some parts of the state, the election went on smoothly in other areas.

While the turnout was impressive in some polling units, especially in the president’s unit, it was poor in other areas.


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