- Thugs disrupted voting process at several polling units in Iba Local Council Development Area, intimidating voters and snatching election materials away.
- Thugs numbering about 70 took control of the process at several units, warning that only people interested in voting for the APC would be allowed to vote.
- Soldiers later intervened and brought the situation under control, but not before the election materials had been taken away by the thugs.
Barely two hours into accreditation and voting in the Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), thugs disrupted the voting process at several polling units, intimidating voters and snatching election materials away.
At several units in the area, thugs numbering about 70, based on Nairametrics’ confirmation, took control of the process and started warning that only people interested in voting for the APC would be allowed to vote. Police officers who had been manning the units were helpless as they were unarmed and few in number.
More details: At Polling Unit 064, police officers were seen telling some people to leave if they were not voting for the APC, to avoid being harassed by the thugs.
After about an hour of controlling the process, the thugs were seen taking away the ballot boxes. Voters who were eager to vote tried to exercise their franchise, which resulted in a tussle for the ballot materials.
Soldiers later intervened and brought the situation under control, but not before the election materials had been taken away by the thugs.
The situation was similar at several polling units spanning the Igando area and Iyana Iba. Up to press time, there is no indication that voting will resume at the polling units.
What the voters said: Nairametrics spoke to several bystanders who said they were at the sites to vote. They expressed frustration with the process.
Francis, a bystander, said he had voted at Polling Unit 064 during the February 25 presidential election, and the ballot box was snatched away. He said he had hoped that the exercise would be better today, but that it was even worse than the presidential election.
Ola, another bystander in the Obadore area expressed similar frustration. He said if the authorities could assign just one soldier to each polling unit it would serve as a deterrent to the thugs because they fear soldiers.“How can five unarmed police officers fight against 80 thugs?” he wondered.
Another bystander said this might be his last effort to vote because the exercise is just a waste of time as votes don’t count.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to Nairametrics in other parts of the district related incidences of violence and activities of thuggery.
However, there are several bright spots in the council where voting is going smoothly.