INEC cancels elections in another Rivers local govt

Rivers state on map
Rivers state on map

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared no election took place in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State after violence engulfed the area.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State, Obo Effanga, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday evening.

Akuku-Toru is the second area in Rivers State where INEC says election did not take place. PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how voting did take off in Bonny LGA, forcing INEC to cancel the exercise there.

For both areas, elections are to be rescheduled, INEC said.

In Akuku-Toru, “there was no election at all,” said Mr Effanga, speaking of a similar situation as Bonny.

Widespread shootings, with men in military uniform and hoodlums, sighted in multimedia materials, were reported in Akuku-Toru, especially Abonnema.

The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt has confirmed involvement in the shootings in Abonnema.

According to its spokesperson, Aminu Iliyasu, soldiers were shooting in Abonnema in reaction to hoodlums who were causing trouble.

The army said the incident gave evidence to its earlier statement that politicians had armed thugs with guns.

There are also reports of killings. A local journalist said a soldier shot to death “a boy holding gun.”

“As the soldier saw the boy with a gun, he just fired a bullet and killed him,” the journalist said.

This is yet to be verified by PREMIUM TIMES.

In isioudu community of Emohua LGA, the Chief of Staff to Governor Nyesoom Wike, Emeka Woke, was fingered in the violence that disrupted polls in the area.

Mr Woke allegedly commanded an attack that led to snatching of ballot boxes by thugs in the area.

PREMIUM TIMES confirmed reports of widespread violence in Khana LGA. There were shootings and disruption of polling process in ward 1 and ward 18.

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It is not immediately confirmed if the voting will be rescheduled in these areas where violence marred the exercise,

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