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Collation of results begin today as killings, BVAS, ballot snatching mar polls



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will commence the collation of 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday at midday.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, announced this at a news conference on the 2023 general elections on Saturday in Abuja.

“I will like to invite you at midday tomorrow (Sunday) for the official opening of the National Innovation Centre for the 2023 general elections.

“We hope that by tomorrow, we expect to have some of the election results coming from states, particularly for the presidential election.

“So, the collation centre for the presidential election will open midday tomorrow,” Yakubu said.

He added that there won’t be need to address Nigerians before Sunday (Feb. 26), except if there was need to do so.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections were held nationwide on Saturday but they were marred by violence in many parts of the country.

The situation led to the loss of lives and disruption of the voting process in many areas.

In some areas, the Independent National Electoral Commission postponed elections till today (Sunday) over violence.

The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated while briefing journalists on the situation report in Abuja that some BVAS machines were snatched from electoral officials.

Yakubu said insecurity in some states led to the delay experienced in some area.

The INEC chairman, who said polling units in Niger, Delta and Katsina states were attacked by thugs and eight BVAS were snatched by thugs, noted that three of the BVAS machines were later recovered.

He said, “Another contributing factor to the late opening of polling units is the perennial insecurity in the country. For instance, we could not deploy early enough to Alawa in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

“Bandits launched an attack, not necessarily on INEC offices or facilities, but in the area. With the advice of the security agencies, we waited a while, but I am happy to say that we were able to deploy to Alawa, and voting in that location is ongoing as we speak.

“Similarly, in the Oshimili LGA of Delta State, thugs attacked a polling unit and two BVAS machines were lost in the process. But again, determined that the election must continue, we were able to replace the stolen BVAS machine, reinforce security agencies and voting contained in that polling unit.

“Similarly, in Safana LGA of Katsina State, thugs attacked one of our voting locations and snatched six BVAS machines. But again, we were able to recover and use the spare BVAS machines and reinforce security for voting to continue in that location. Happily, security agencies have recovered the BVAS machines but three are still held by the thugs.”

Yakubu noted that the attacks by these thugs were targeted at the BVAS.

On Dipolubi Street in the Surulere area of Lagos, a woman, Efidi Bina Jennifer, was allegedly stabbed by thugs loyal to a political party at the polling unit. She, however, came back to cast her vote after being given first aid treatment and wearing heavy bandage on her face and dripping with blood.

A pregnant woman identified as Ruth Osah, and a member of a local security outfit, Mark Orduize, were allegedly killed at a polling unit in the Ubimini community, Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The Taraba State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Usman Abdullahi, on Saturday confirmed the killing of one person in the early hours of the day.

Abdullahi told journalists that during a patrol to enforce the restriction of movement, policemen flagged down a motorcyclist, who refused to stop and he was shot in the process.

Hoodlums suspected to be supporters of a political party in Akwa Ibom State inflicted machete cuts on two voters before carting away a Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation Machine System machine for units 11 and 12 at the Oniong West Ward I in the Onna Local Government Area of the state.

Thugs snatched ballot boxes and voting materials at the Oredo Ward 4 Unit 42 on Butcher Street, Benin, Edo State, and chased away the polling officials, who took cover in a house on Lagos Street.

Violence and harassment of voters marred the election in Kogi State. One of our correspondents, who monitored the elections in parts of the state, reports that the violence also led to the loss of lives in some areas.

The voting process was disrupted at the GSS polling unit in Ofoni in the Sagbama Local Government Area, the hometown of the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, following pandemonium caused by gunshots fired by some irate youths.

There was palpable tension in the Dagiri area of Gwagwalada as suspected political thugs destroyed 24 ballot boxes in eight polling units.

The Gombe State Commissioner of Police, Oqua Etim, on Saturday confirmed Friday night’s attack on INEC ad hoc workers at Tudun Wada Primary School. Suspected thugs had invaded the school where the ad hoc workers comprising corps members and other participants were camped ahead of the elections.

There was reported shooting at Umulokpa, headquarters of the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu as thugs attacked the INEC office. The hoodlums were said to have engaged security agents in a fierce battle as they attempted to hijack election result sheets in all the polling units in the council area.

Political thugs attacked some parts of Osun State on Saturday.

Gunmen on Saturday invaded a polling unit in Ayegbami, Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, and destroyed a ballot box and disrupted the electoral process in the area.

Operatives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who were on duty monitoring the elections, were attacked by political thugs near the chief’s palace in the Bwari Area Council of the FCT. The attack followed the arrest of a man for allegedly masterminding a vote-buying procedure at the polling unit situated at THE Science Primary School, Bwari.

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