9th March, 2019
Masked hoodlums on Saturday disrupted electoral process, when they reportedly set ablaze electoral materials at Usagbe Primary School, Ogbido, Etsako West local government area of Edo State.
The incident happened at ward 10, unit 6, a suburb of Iyahmo, the country home of the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
The arsonists who were said to be five in number, allegedly emerged from the nearby bush, shot sporadically into the air to scare voters away from the polling unit, before carrying out their nefarious activity.
INEC’s ad-hoc officer, presiding over in the unit, Elechi Chimenumevere, who spoke with journalists, said the incident happened at about 11.30 am.
Chimenumevere described the incident as shocking to them and the electorate, adding that some of their personal belongings were also burnt while they ran away with ballot papers and result sheets.
“About five masked hoodlums suddenly came out from the bush and shot sporadically into the air to scare voters away.
“Some unused ballot papers were burnt by the hoodlums, including our personal belongings. At the moment I don’t have NYSC uniform as my khaki got burnt inside my bag. I was yet to put on the khaki and others INEC apron before the hoodlums struck.
“With the help of the electorate we were able to secure the other ballot papers and result sheets. Mobile phones of one of the ad-hoc staff is missing,” he said.
He, however, said that the incident led to the beefing up of security at the centre with military operatives.
A voter and resident of the community, Peter Aleobua, described the incident as unfortunate.
He noted that it was by the grace of God that no life was lost.
“We are very happy that they didn’t kill anybody. The youths of the community were very active that they helped in ensuring that ballot papers and result sheets were safe,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, has decried the burning of electoral materials in his ward, as “condemnable.”
He, however, commended INEC for the major improvement in the area of card reader, logistics and arrival of electoral materials and personnel.