By Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini, has given reasons for the cancellation of the presidential election in Udung Uko Local Government Area of Eket Senatorial District of the state.
Speaking at the state collation centre for the presidential election located within the INEC headquarters, Uyo, the REC explained that election in the area was characterised with wide spread electoral violence, ballot box snatching by armed political thugs that invaded the LGA during the conduct of the election.
He said the Collation Officer for the area, Emeka Adizua, and other corps members were ambushed and attacked by political thugs, while scolding the political class for trying to scuttle the process in the area.
The REC regretted the development in the area, saying it was unfortunate that politicians who were the beneficiary of the system are the greatest threat to the system.
“The consequence of that action is that there will be no result from that area. Intimidation is getting too much. Please stop the intimidations.
“We are out for openness but politicians are out for chaos. The era of ballot box snatching and writing of result is over,” he stated.
According to the collation officer for the area, Adizua, “All the INEC ad hoc staff deployed for the presidential and National Assembly elections last Saturday were attacked by the hoodlums.
“The thugs were led by a political party stalwart identified as Okon Usung. They took away card readers, held some ad hoc staff hostage. If not for the Area Commander, Oron LGA, maybe I would have been dead by now.
“The entire local government was marred by violence and snatching of ballot boxes by the political thugs. That is why there is no result from the area,” he lamented.