Observer group alleges diversion of voting materials to Minister’s home in Bayelsa, calls for cancellation

Posted by News Express | 9 March 2019 | 1,443 times

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•Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri

Women Arise, an election observer group endorsed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that voting materials and smart card readers meant for two units in Ward 8 in Ekeremor, Bayelsa State, were hijacked and diverted by suspected thugs loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Senior Programmes Officer, Mr. Olufemi Lawson, in a press statement made available to journalists in Yenagoa on Saturday, alleged that the voting materials were diverted to the residence of the Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, in connivance with election officials.

Mr. Lawson said the suspected thugs seized the materials on Friday night as they arrived the community and that the thumb-printing of the ballot papers took place in the Minister’s residence.

He said the act was undemocratic and condemnable and called on INEC to reject or cancel any results declared for the units.

“There was no voting in two units of ward 8 in Ekeremor town, Bayelsa State. What happened there is a shame to our democracy where thugs loyal to a political party and a federal minister brazenly seized voting materials for thumb printing in a private residence. It is more worrisome that the law enforcement personnel and INEC officials could not do anything about this rape of our democracy.

“That was not an election and INEC must ensure the sanctity of the ballot by rejecting and canceling such results if declared. Our electoral system cannot be sanitised if infractions are not penalised,” Lawson stated.

He said the group would send a formal report on its observations to the electoral umpire in Abuja.


Source: News Express

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