Nigeria: Violence, Rigging Mar Nasarawa Bye-Election

The bye-election into the Nasarawa/Toto Federal Constituency in Nasarawa State, on Saturday, was reportedly marred by several reports of violence, ballot-box snatching, stuffing of ballot papers, and massive irregularities across several polling units at various wards in Toto Local Government Area.

Sources revealed that before the commencement of accreditation at 10.32am, political thugs hijacked electoral materials in 6 polling units at Ugya Ward. The poling units include Bakete, Dibeku, Rudu, Kovo Dere and two others.

Also, in Katakpa Ward, Election materials in Polling units at Sere such as NW1212002) Risegu (NW 1212003), Shizhe, (NW1212004) Emue (NW1212005) were all snatched and taken away by armed thugs.

Agents of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA alleged that the violence was perpetrated by thugs loyal to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

They alleged that a popular APC Chieftain in the area engaged the thugs to intimidate voters and cart away all the result sheets and sensitive materials for the exercise.

Ugya ward is considered a stronghold for APGA given that the APGA Candidate hails from Afor. This confirms earlier reports by APGA in Nasarawa State that the ruling APC had perfected plans to rig the elections in the area.

When contacted, the INEC Electoral Officer for Toto LGA, said he has been informed about the incidence of violence in many polling units especially in Ugya but was yet to confirm from INEC officials deployed to the area.

Felix Ayagiri, a voter in Dubeku said “INEC has been disappointing. This has been an abysmal example of how elections ought to be. It is particularly appalling that in an isolated election like this, adequate security arrangements have not been put in place.This raises grave questions about the future of elections in Nigeria.”

However, elections held peacefully across polling units in Nasarawa LGA.

There were no reports of violence in all the polling units visited.

In Government Science School PU, NASS Main Town Ward, Nasarawa LGA, there was an impressive turnout of voters with accreditation and voting going on simultaneously.

Meanwhile, final collation of results is ongoing.

Source: Vanguard.