© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Voting Ongoing In Tense Rivers Legislative Re-Run Elections
Voting is currently underway in Rivers State in the legislative re-run elections which had been twice rescheduled due to violence and insecurity.
A total restriction of movement had been announced in the state as part of efforts to keep the exercise peaceful and credible.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the exercise is being conducted in the three Senatorial districts for senatorial seats.
The rerun is also held in eight Federal Constituencies for the House of Representatives seats and 10 State Constituencies for state assembly seats.
In Bera Ward 16, Gokana LGA, the turnout was early and massive while the election materials arrived at 8.30 a.m.
NAN also reports that card readers are working well in all the 16 polling units of Bera Ward 16 in local government area visited.
NAN further reports that all the polling units in the local government were organised in the Community Secondary School, Bera.
The agency reports that voters were coordinated but under the heavy presence of the security operatives.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the cancellation of election in ward 9 unit 3 of Ogu/Bolo LGA after hoodlums carted away result sheets and bitter disagreement between PDP and APC.
INEC had deployed a total of 10,294 electoral staff for the exercise.
Two factors make the exercise a high risk: the animosity between Governor Nyesom Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the state’s notorious history of electoral violence.
The two men represent the All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party respectively.
Rivers Police spokesperson, Omoni Nnamdi, told journalists that 28,000 officers have been fully deployed and are ready for the elections.
Similarly, The Nigerian Army has also deployed troops to various locations identified as flash points in the state in order to prevent any breakdown of law and order.