Saturday, February 23, 2019 9:36 pm
The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC says elections in some parts of Rivers, Anambra and Lagos States will either be cancelled or rescheduled following the violent disruption of voting in the areas.
INEC Commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye who said this on Saturday said the Commission has received reports of violence and ballot box snatching in some areas leading to the disruption of the process.
He added that the Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs and the Electoral Officials in the affected areas have been asked to submit reports in relation to some of these incidents.
Okoye added that the Commission has received reports relating to incidences in Akuku Toru and Bonny local government areas of Rivers state.
“So long as the commission could not deploy in these areas, the implication is that voting did not take place in those areas and the commission will hold consultations with the relevant authorities and the Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs in relation to these areas and will announce the date when polls will take place in some of these areas, especially in relation to the areas as they affect the House of Representatives and Senatorial elections.
“It is not only in Rivers that we had reports of burning of electoral materials. We have such reports from Anambra and Lagos states as well as some other places.”
He said: “With regards to the challenges associated with Smart Card Readers in some polling units, most of these challenges were resolved and were resolved on time. However, it is to be noted that in the Regulations and the Guidelines issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC it was made very clear that the use of the smart card readers is mandatory.
“Therefore, no staff of the Commission or any ad hoc staff of the Commission is permitted in whatever guise to deliberately refuse to use the smart card readers for the conduct of elections. According to the Guidelines and Regulations of the Commission, it is negligent conduct for any ad hoc staff to refuse to use the smart card readers for purposes of accreditation and any of them that refused to use the smart card readers or deliberately violated the use of the smart card readers will be subject to prosecution in accordance with the Guidelines and Regulations of the Commission and the Electoral Act.”