The Independent National Electoral Commission has cancelled Bayelsa State governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area. INEC said the decision was taken because of violence, the abduction of electoral officials and ballot box snatching.
The electoral agency believed what happened in Southern Ijaw was a negation of global best practices in election conduct and that it was necessary to cancel the election there to enthrone credibility in the process. The supplementary election will be conducted in due date.
INEC decided on the cancellation of the Southern Ijaw votes shortly after two Toyota Hilux vehicles, carrying 24 ballot boxes and some men stormed the collation centre in Yenagoa causing commotion and chaos.
They vehicle drove in as if they were chased into the venue, screeching to a halt outside the centre. Three men came down chanting local war songs.
They claimed the ballot boxes contained electoral materials from from Southern Ijaw and that they had overwhelmed ‘soldiers’ firing at them to return the ballot boxes they were carrying.
They did not appear to be INEC officials and officials at the collation centre were dazed and unsure about how to react.
Shortly afterwards, journalists covering the collation were advised to move from the collation centre to INEC office for a press briefing on the situation in Southern Ijaw LGA.
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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