By Jimitota Onoyume & Davies Iheamnachor
The office of the Independent National Electoral Commissions, INEC, in Emohua Local Government Area, Rivers State, has been set ablaze by suspected political thugs.
Vanguard gathered that at dawn, the building, located in Emohua, administrative headquarters of the council which houses the electoral body, had been razed by persons alleged to be aggrieved.
The development may not be unconnected with the alleged irregularities recorded in Saturday’s election in the state.
No result of the elections in the state has been announced so far.
Meanwhile, Senator Magnus Abe, and the state governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Dakuku Peterside, were among chieftains of the party that led about 2,000 members of the party to occupy the Rivers State office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Aba Road, Port Harcourt for several hours, yesterday, demanding cancellation of Saturday’s election.
They threatened to occupy the office till Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman of the commission, gives them another date for the election.
Peterside told Vanguard at the venue of the protest that members of his party were not allowed to vote, adding that they were demanding for an opportunity to exercise their franchise.
He said about 10 members of his party were allegedly killed at different locations in the state with 55 others allegedly arrested by the Police as part of alleged effort to whittle down the party’s force in the state.
“We are here to register our protest that there were no elections in the state on Saturday. Over 10 of our members were killed, 55 of them arrested by the Police. We want to see the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner because she played a key role in subverting the will of democracy in the state,” he said.
When reminded that the presidential candidate of his party, General Muhamadu Buhari (rtd) said he would not support cancellation of the election when he voted, Peterside said the statement was relative.
“The General Buhari only spoke against cancellation of the elections in specific cases. He did not say there should be no cancellation where there was no election,” he added.
Senator Abe who represents Rivers South-East senatorial district, said the Caretaker Committee Chairman of his Gokhana Local Government Area, Mr Kadilo Kabari, was allegedly beaten to a pulp at the Police station in the council, where they went to report alleged hijack of election materials.
Senator Abe who linked INEC in the state with the alleged rigging said the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, would have conducted a better election in the state if he was the state Resident Electoral commissioner.