By Abel Daniel
LAFIA – Not less than 55 Corps members and staff of INEC deployed to serve as presiding officers were held hostage for 24 hours in Assakio, Ashige and Adogi in Lafia local government area on Saturday.
The corps members who were rescued by security men and brought to the INEC Headquarter in Lafia at about 4.00pm where collation of election result was ongoing, said they were held hostage by the host communities because the INEC’s returning officers were not found to collate and return election results from the communities.
The spokes person Mr Adamu Anzalu said that the voters in the areas refused to let them go because the returning and collation officers refused to show up after the election was peacefully concluded.
Anzalu stated further that they tried severally to put call across to the returning officers but they refused to pick their calls.
The host communities, who alleged foul play, insisted that if the returning officer do not show up they would not released the presiding officers. Not until security officers intervened and pleaded with them before they were released but those from Adogi and Ashige left their electoral materials including the election result with the communities.
The REC Alh. Abdullahi Danyaya while addressing the rescued Corps members said he will ensure that the materials in the custody of the communities are returned to the commission. He also assured that he will not council elections in the areas.
It must he noted that Assokio and Ashige ward had their election counselled in the last election over what the INEC boss termed election irregularities.