The electoral officers for Ikwerre, Okrika and Ahoada West local governments in Rivers State have accused the Nigeria army of disrupting elections in the areas.
Backstory: Emavwoyan Efeturi, Leo Okon and Emotion Niki from the three areas came to the collation center on Monday night without their respective collation officers. They accused soldiers from the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army based in Port Harcourt for disrupting the process.
Two of them – Efeturi and Okon – even reported that the collation officers for their centers could still not be found.
Okon, the electoral officer for Okrika, alleged that a Captain Inuwa led 10 soldiers to INEC office to stop collation and chased everybody away.
Additionally, the electoral officer at Ahoada West, Niki, said, “APC and PDP” thugs were shooting heavily which made collation exercise impossible.
The reported incidences resulted in no election records at the three areas of Rivers State.
This update comes after at least 11 people, including a soldier, were confirmed dead in Rivers during Saturday’s election. The violence in the state led to INEC’s decision to cancel the elections in some parts of the state.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has alleged that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in the company of about 100 soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army invaded the INEC Office at Isiokpo.
Per a state government statement: “Journalists, domestic and foreign observers were shocked on Monday at the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre when INEC Officials narrated how soldiers of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army invaded Collation Centre of Emohua Local Government Area and Ikwerre Local Government Area to snatch Presidential and National Assembly result sheets.”
In Emohua, a former Commissioner under Rotimi Amaechi led the invasion of the Collation Centre by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.”
“Speaking during the Collation Session on Monday, Mrs. Mary Efeture Imawuya INEC Electoral Officer of Ikwerre LGA declared that no Collation was carried out in Ikwerre Local Government Area because of the invasion of the INEC Office in Isiokpo by soldiers.
She said: “Between 7 and 8 pm on Saturday, February 23, 2019, the military invaded INEC office at Isiokpo and they walked out every adhoc staff that were there to present their results to the Collation Officers. The evidence is still there. We took recordings.”
“At the end of the day, no Collation was carried out. The results of the Collation Officers, issued to them, was retrieved by me and returned back to the INEC State Office.”
The statement noted that the “military personnel did not allow the ad-hoc staff to carry out Collation in their wards, hence permission was sought and obtained from INEC for Collation to hold at the INEC office at Isiokpo.”
Another INEC officer, Kenneth Etah, stated: “As I speak, I do not have any results to present for Emohua Local Government Area because Collation did not take place. This was due to sporadic shootings that disrupted the process. There was pandemonium and everything was scattered. After one hour of shootings, security officials evacuated us to the council hall.”
Bottom Line: We wonder what President Buhari’s position is when those he gave a directive to shoot at electoral offenders end up being the electoral offenders.