Soldiers block with truck and armoured tank the road leading to the state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on March 10, 2019. – Fears has gripped residents of oil-rich Port Harcourt city in Niger delta region as state headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission has
been condoned off by dozens of fierce looking soldiers, anti-riots policemen and other complementary security agents who are jointly patrolling the city ahead of the much awaited results of the just concluded governorship and state assembly elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday suspended all electoral processes in the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers until further notice.The electoral body made the suspension public in a statement in Abuja by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye.
According to Okoye, the action was due to widespread violence and disruptions that characterised the Saturday’s elections in the state.He said that based on reports from INEC officials on the field, the commission had determined that there had been widespread disruption of the elections.“These initial reports suggest that violence occurred
in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres; staff have been taken hostage and materials, including result sheets, have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.
“In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.“Consequently, at a meeting held on Sunday, March 10, the commission decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice. This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral
Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47(e) of the Regulations and Guidelines of the Commission.