The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the announcement of Saturday’s re-run elections results in Rivers State.
The commission’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, in a statement on Sunday, said the commission decided to suspend the results’ announcement due to widespread violence that marred the elections
According to him, the elections witnessed disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC Local Government offices and Registration Area Centres (RACs) used for the distribution of Electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off.
He also noted that the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well-armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, marred the elections in some areas and thus, the commission was compelled to suspend the announcement of the results pending when they receive a comprehensive report from its Field Officials and Monitors.
“Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today. Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to presently unknown destinations.
“Under such difficult circumstance, the Returning Officers were only able to collate and declare results in 1 Federal and 9 State constituencies where the disruption and malpractices were not so widespread.
“Having reviewed the situation, the Commission is compelled to suspend all further action concerning the exercise in all the other constituencies in the State pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its Field Officials and Monitors.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the Returning Officers.”
However, before the commission was compelled to suspend further announcement of results, the results released yesterday showed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was leading as it emerged victorious in eight of the nine state constituencies and one federal constituency seat, while the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won one state constituency seat.