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Bayelsa poll: 14 political parties commend INEC

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Fourteen political parties in Bayelsa have commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for cancelling Saturday’s governorship election in the state in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 14 parties were among the 20 political parties that contested the election.

Election in the local government area which was first shifted from Saturday to Sunday due to alleged violence and ballot box-snatching, was cancelled on Sunday by INEC as the violence, ballot box snatching and other irregularities persisted.

Speaking on behalf of the political parties at a news conference in Yenagoa on Wednesday, Mr Prince Elemah of Independent Democrats (ID) said that INEC did well by cancelling the poll in the area.

“INEC has done well by cancelling the election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area; we commend the commission for ensuring that the state governorship poll was peaceful.

“The election that was declared inconclusive was orderly in Sagbama, Ekeremor, Ogbia, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Yenagoa and Nembe Local Government Areas, and was relatively peaceful, fair and credible.

“Initial skirmishes reported in Nembe and Ekeremor Local Government Areas were brought under control after the intervention of security agencies and the exercise was conducted freely and fairly.

“The monumental fraud, rigging, outright stealing of electoral materials and open attempt to overrun the INEC officers by thugs and agents of a particular political party were highly recorded in Southern Ijaw,’’ Elemah said.

He alleged that some National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members were held hostage in some part of the local government area and forced to make entry in favour of a particular party.

“Having collated the reports from our unit agents, NGOs, INEC officers, local and international observers and various security agencies, we have resolved to strongly condemn the use of thugs to intimidate INEC officers.

“We totally condemn in strong terms, the electoral fraud that characterised the exercise in Southern-Ijaw Local Government Area, where INEC officials were held hostage and materials hijacked,’’ he said.


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