Rivers rerun : Election turns violent in Etche LGA

More than 60 suspected political thugs were arrested by security operatives during Saturday’s rerun legislative election which held in Rivers State.
The election was held to elect representatives for the Etche/Omuma Federal and state constituencies.

Though the exercise went on peacefully in many areas, it was trailed by violence and other irregularities in some others.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had fixed February the 25th for fresh polls after violence led to the cancellation of the last exercise on December the 10th 2016.

Unit 6, Ward 9 in Umuchem community was one of those areas where simultaneous voting and accreditation went on smoothly.

Materials and officials of INEC also arrived early at the polling unit as well as in many other parts of the Local Government.

The rerun election was also peaceful in Unit 1, Ward 5 of Umuanyagu community.

Voters expressed hope that this would be the end of inconclusive elections in Etche and other parts of the state.

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But it didn’t stay calm for too long.

As voting continued across Etche Local Government Area, news of shootings and ballot box snatching began to filter in.

For now the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Aniedi Ikoiwak said elections would be cancelled in those polling units where materials were hijacked.

Explosives such as dynamites were amongst items recovered from thugs during the exercise.

Meanwhile some members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP have denied sponsoring the recorded pockets of violence.

As at the time of filing this report it was unclear when the final results of the election would be announced after results are collated from poling units where voting was peaceful.

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