Why Voting was suspended in Ihiala – INEC


Voting has been suspended in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the ongoing governorship election that commenced on Saturday.

Whirlwind.com reports said the election was suspended following the outbreak of violence in various polling units in the LGA, with INEC officials reportedly being attacked by hoodlums in different communities in the area.

Quoting an INEC official, who preferred to remain anonymous, the report said that the hoodlums disrupted the election and claimed they were enforcing the sit-at-home order earlier imposed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in spite of the organisation officially cancelling the directive, hours before the election.

Some INEC officials were also quoted to have told the newspaper that residents in the area disrupted the election in some polling units because of the late arrival of voting materials.

“We were blocked on our way to the polling units in Okija community. We met some hoodlums who barricaded the roads, saying we can’t go for the election. They also said they were not interested in election as long as there is sit-at-home order,” a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving as an election official said.

Another INEC ad hoc official, who identified herself simply as Comfort, said hoodlums accused staff of the electoral body of planning to rig the election.

“Some youths attacked us seriously. They even accused us of planning to change results. They said we were supposed to travel together with other INEC officials. They said we were planning to change the results and because of that, they started beating some of us. So, we had to turn back,” she told TheCable.

Another INEC ad hoc staff, a corps member who identified himself as Peter, said lateness to the polling units led to attacks in some areas.

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“I think our lateness to the Ogbolo wards frustrated the hoodlums to strike violence. Some of us were eventually attacked. We had to find motorcycles to find our way out of the place, and we were told to start going home,” he said.

It is not yet clear when the election will be conducted in the LGA.


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