HEADLINE | Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023
By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Over 16 Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, adhoc staff were attacked, and electoral materials including ballot boxes were destroyed on Saturday at Odoakpu Ward 7 Onitsha South Local Government Area Anambra State during the House of Assembly Election.
Five INEC adhoc staff were seriously wounded while over ten sustained minor injuries during the attack by the hoodlums who were moving from one pooling unit to another in Ward 7 and other Wards in Onitsha South L.G.A.
The INEC adhoc staff were attacked when hoodlums suspected to be working for All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, invaded the voting Units, carting away some ballot boxes, and destroyed them and scattered other voting materials being used for the election.
Some of the voting Units were the hoodlums invaded and ekectoon materials and ballot boxes and voting materials destroyed were Nnewi Street, Margret Street and Metu Memorial Secondary School Onitsha South voting units.
Narrating their ordeal, one of the seriously injured INEC adhoc staff victims Mrs Amaka Ozoha said the hoodlums barged into the voting units chanting “APGA or no other party” and other pro APGA songs, started kicking band beating with sticks and other dangerous weapons everybody on sight.
According to Mrs Ozoha, “We were surprise about the attack and their reason, all we know is that election was going on peacefully before the invaded the voting units and started beating us and destroying the materials while carting away ballot boxes.
A candidate of Labour Party, LP, Mr. Jude Umennajiego, who was accosted at the headquarters of Onitsha South Local Government Area, as he was about taking some of the wounded INEC adhoc staff to hospital, told newsmen that the APGA candidate in contest with him discovered that he was going to be defeated in the election abd desuded to procure hoodlums to destroy the electoral materials and ballot boxes.
“He knows that Odoakpu Ward 7 is one of strong holds in Onitsha South and he has seen that I was heating him hands down so in order not to allow the election to continue he procured hoodlums to disrupt the election. I came here to take the wounded INEC adhoc staff to hospital because am human.
“The violent act by APGA procured hoodlums started when the Onitsha South LGA senior official visited the affected areas.”