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Thugs disrupt Assembly poll in Ondo as election monitoring team impounds trucks over restriction order

• March 18, 2023
Destroyed election material
Destroyed election materials

Hoodlum suspected to be political thugs have disrupted the ongoing State House of Assembly election in Ute, Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state, Peoples Gazette learnt.

The thugs, who came with dangerous weapons, hijacked the ballot papers in some of the units in the community and destroyed them.

The Gazette gathered that the hoodlums were visiting the various units in the Ward 12 area of the Community, disrupting the voting exercise.

One of the voters, who simply identified himself as Adeleke, said the thugs were allegedly working for the candidates of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Assembly poll.

“They realised that their candidates (APC) were losing in the election and they had to disrupt the process. They chased INEC staff on duty away and we had to run for our dear life,” he said.

Several sources also said the thugs had earlier moved around some areas of the community before the election, threatening to deal with anyone who would not cast their ballot for their candidates.

Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, the spokeswoman for the Ondo Police Command could not be immediately reached for comments on the incident.

However, a police source hinted that security agents have been deployed to the units affected by the violence.

In a related development, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has impounded three trucks for violating the “Vehicular Movement” order of the Inspector-General of Police.

Oyekola Oyelami, the acting Resident Electoral Commission (REC), disclosed this to reporters while monitoring the weekend exercise.

Mr Oyelami said the trucks were seized by the Election Monitoring Team comprising INEC in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

He added that the ICCES monitoring team included; the police, military, Nigeria Immigration Service, EFCC, NOA, and NDLEA.

“The trucks covered were said to be coming from the northern part of the country.

“But the vehicles have now parked at the premises of the Police Special Anti-Cultist Squad along Oda road in Akure,” Mr Oyelami added.

He, however, decried the low turnout of voters in the Saturday election exercise despite the awareness created by the electoral commission.

“Although, the process would be evaluated later to ascertain the level of apathy.”

The Gazette reports that the INEC team visited Akure South, Akure North, and Ifedore LGAs of the state.

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