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How Violence, Vote-buying, Ballot Snatching, Others Marred Rerun Elections

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The rerun elections conducted in some states on Saturday in 26 states of the federation were characterised by violence, vote-buying, ballot snatching, disruption and low turnout of voters.

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission conducted by-elections in nine states for two senators, four members of the House of Representatives and three members of state Houses of Assembly to replace members who passed away or resigned their memberships of the assemblies.

ReadBye-Election: INEC Solicits NAF’s Support for Swift Delivery of Election Materials 

In other states, re-run elections took place at designated constituencies and polling units as ordered by-election appeal tribunals.

INEC said the elections were to fill vacancies in three senatorial districts, 17 federal and 28 state constituencies spread across 80 local government areas, 575 registration areas/wards and 8,934 polling units, involving 4,904,627 registered voters out of which 4,613,291 permanent voter cards collected were accredited for use.

 

However, the exercise did not go as planned in many of the polling units as reports of thuggery, ballot-snatching and intimidation of voters were recorded, while security agents made some arrests.

 

Some of the issues forced INEC to suspend the polls in some of the polling units in Kano, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, and Plateau states.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Sam Olumekun, disclosed the suspension of the polls in 20 polling units in the affected states in a statement on Saturday.

 

INEC had earlier stated that it was probing disruptions that occurred during the rerun/by-elections in Enugu, Akwa Ibom and Kano states.

 

It said, “Generally, polls opened promptly and accreditation going on smoothly in the 8,934 polling units in 26 states involved in today’s bye-elections and re-run elections.

 

“However, we are monitoring reported disruption of processes by acts of thuggery and hijacking of materials in some locations in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, and Kano states.”

 

However, in its latest updates, the commission stated that the suspension was a result of irregularities and abduction of election officials.

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