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Rivers Election: INEC Blames Soldiers, Accuses Them Of Intimidating And Harassing Electoral Officers

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on the relevant authorities to call soldiers to order following intimidation and arrest of electoral officers in Rivers state.
According to INEC, results from 17 out of the 23 local government areas (LGA) where the governorship election held in Rivers state are still intact as it frowned at the interference by soldiers in the electoral process.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by Festus Okoye, INEC’s director of information and voter education committee.
Okoye said the commission would issue detailed timelines and activities for the completion of the election on Wednesday.
He said a decision on the election was taken at a meeting where the commission considered the report of the fact-finding committee set up to assess the situation in Rivers where electoral process was suspended.
On March 10, INEC suspended all electoral processes in the state as a result of violence and widespread disruption of collation of results.
“The governorship and state assembly elections took place in most polling units and results were announced,” part of the statement read.

“That the results from 17 local governments out of 23 are available and are in the commission’s custody.

“That the declaration and returns for 21 state constituencies out of 32 were made prior to the suspension.

“That collation centres were invaded by some soldiers and armed gangs resulting in the intimidation and unlawful arrest of election officials thereby disrupting the collation process.”
Okoye said INEC was committed to expeditious completion of the collation process where results of the elections had been announced.
He added that INEC will engage the security agencies at the national level and the inter-agency consultative committee at the state level to demand neutrality and professionalism of security personnel in order to secure a peaceful environment for the completion of the elections.

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