HEADLINE | Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023

Thugs hijack, burn electoral materials in Ebonyi State

By Peter Okutu

• we are aware of it; we will take care of it – INEC

• thugs in fake military uniforms were busy disrupting election – Odoh

• APC not involved in such mayhem – APC Chair

Report reaching Vanguard has it that thugs in their numbers stormed Oshiegbe and Umuezeokoha Wards in Ezza North Local Government Area of the State and hijacked electoral materials meant for the election.

The development, according to sources has hindered the commencement and smooth conduct of elections in Ezza North LGA, which is the stronghold of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA governorship candidate, Prof Benard Odoh, in the State.

Contacted, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ebonyi State, Mrs Onyeka Ugochi said she has received similar reports and that the Commission was working towards the conducted of election in the affected areas.

“I have gotten so many reports from that Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. We are on the verge of doing something. We will take care of it.”

Speaking with Vanguard on phone, the APGA Governorship candidate, Prof Benard Odoh alleged that the ruling APC had imported lots of thugs who are busy disrupting election at various polling Units across Ezza North Local Government Areas of the State.

He confirmed that three voters were shot in his polling Unit as election materials were destroyed.

He called on INEC to consider re-conducting election in various polling Units, where election was disrupted and materials destroyed.

He also alleged that thugs were seen in fake military uniforms, causing mayhem across many wards in Ezza North LGA.

According to him, “They have been on rampage since morning from polling Unit to polling Units, destroying electoral materials, snatching ballot boxes and all kinds of mayhem. It’s been a very challenging period for us.

“We have not given up. INEC is even out of ideas as they have been muzzled out. The security agencies are doing their best but they are not enough to contain the number of thugs on ground.

“I want to call on INEC to re-conduct election in all the places that election was disrupted; it should be re-conducted in those areas.”

Reacting to the allegations, the APC Chairman in Ebonyi State, Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha denied the involvement of the Party in such mayhem

He called on Odoh to know that he can’t become a Governor through violence and other forms of electoral misdemeanor.

“APC cannot be involved in such violence. Am hearing about what is happening in Ezza North LGA. It is not the turn of Odoh to become Governor. Power comes from God.”