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We ‘ll cancel polls where ballot boxes are snatched – Igini

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Uyo – Mr Mike Igini, the Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), says the commission will cancel polls in units where ballot boxes are snatched in the state.

Igini said this while addressing newsmen on the conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom on Saturday.

Officials count votes in front of voters during the presidential and parliamentary elections on February 23, 2019, at a polling station in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria. – Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations began opening from 0700 GMT, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff, AFP reporters said. (Photo AFP)

“We are able to deliver ballot papers and result sheets in various polling units apart from few that have one challenge or the other.

“What I can tell you emphatically is that there is no election, where there is snatching of ballot papers or result sheets are taken to private homes or somewhere to thumb print.

“We will not accept it, those things are not going to work here and we are not going to accept it. Those areas will stand as cancelled and we will take them as non events,” igini said

He however, said that the conduct of the elections was not completely 100 per cent, adding that elections did not start accordingly in few centres in the state due to some challenges.

Igini said the commission had learned lessons and promised to improve on the governorship elections.

He added that the commission was able to deliver election materials to all polling units across the state.

Igini said the elections were paradigm shift, saying that Akwa Ibom had not been conducting elections in the past.

He expressed displeasure over irregularities in some local government areas in the state.

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The REC said that there were little skirmishes in some local government areas, including Ukanafun, Ikono and Oron.

“It is for us to study what has happened and I am also waiting to see the number of arrests that has been made by now.

“This thing that happened is deliberately done by politicians, thugs and conspiracy, we want to see if security personnel will be able to arrest culprits in connection to the disruption we saw,” igini said.

He said that some politicians massively resisted the enthronement of free, fair and credible elections that the commission tried to ensure, hence the issues.

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Odiko MacDon said that no casualties had been reported.

He however, said that the command was waiting for the announcement of the election results, adding that there and then, there may be some skirmishes.

MacDon described the election as peaceful and that Akwa Ibom people came out en mass to cast their votes. (NAN)

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