The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern about the reported cases of violence in Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC said it was unfortunate there were cases of violence despite all efforts to ensure peaceful elections in the two states.
The Commission, however, called for calm while assuring voters of its commitment to conclude the elections process in both states fairly and credibly.
INEC said it was carefully monitoring the processes even as voting had closed in all polling units in both states.
The statement read: “Reports from accredited observers and our officials in the field indicate that most voters who were willing to vote had the opportunity to do so.
“The Commission delivered materials to its two states’ offices in good time and made adequate preparations for the movement of staff and materials to the various voting locations.
“There are reports indicating that the electoral process was in several places affected by thuggery and violence, which the Commission unequivocally condemns.
“We are still receiving, collating and evaluating these reports as we move into the critical phase of result collation.”
The Commission also said that results would be collated at registration areas, local government areas, and state levels.
It added that its staff were ready to receive those results while advising stakeholders to keep to their commitments of ensuring the peaceful conduct of the elections
The INEC commended the security agencies, saying they had been supportive in the face of many challenges.
It urged the public to remain calm, assuring voters in the two states of its resolve to ensure that the ”elections are concluded fairly and credibly.” (NAN)