Monday, 21 March 2016

INEC suspend election in all constituencies in Rivers State

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has suspended all the election in all constituencies in Rivers State. In a statement late yesterday, the commission said it ordered the suspension, pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its field officials and monitors.

INEC had already cancelled election in eight local councils in the state because of violence.

Clarifying it’s latest order, INEC said “the suspension does not affect constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the returning officers”.

No result so far has been declared officially in the rerun poll for state and national Assembly seats. But INEC said results are ready in one Federal Constituency and 11 state assembly seats.

INEC’s Director in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi also elaborated on the suspension;

“Rather unfortunately, some of these elections witnessed the disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC Local Government offices and Registration Area Centres (RACs) used for the distribution of Electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off.

“Of more serious concern was the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well-armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas.

“There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in eight Local Government Areas.

“Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today.

Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to presently unknown destinations”.

He stressed that under such difficult circumstance, the Returning Officers were only able to collate and declare results in one Federal and nine State constituencies where the disruption and malpractices were not so widespread.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the Returning Officers”.

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