INEC cancels poll in Ondo towns over violence

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Ondo State has cancelled the House of Assembly election in parts of Ilaje, Ugbo and other parts of the state where polls were disrupted on Saturday.

Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, gave the hint as information filtered in that ballot boxes and papers, meant for several units in Ayetoro and Ugbo Ward 2, were snatched by armed men.

Ilepete community, the collation centre for Ugbo Ward 3, was also reportedly attacked by armed thugs, who engaged in sporadic shooting at Ilowo to scare voters away.

INEC confirmed that about 22 units were affected by the disruptions.

Also at Ute Ward 12, Unit 6 in Ose Constituency, armed thugs launched an attack, snatching electoral materials and disappearing with them.

INEC also confirmed that there was no voting at Itekule, in Ondo East Local Government, as sustained gunshots kept voters indoors through out the accreditation and voting period.

Agbaje told one of our correspondents on the telephone on Saturday that INEC had received information about the disruptions across the state.

He said the commission had taken a decision to reschedule the elections in the affected areas, particularly areas where elections did not take place at all.

The REC added, “We have the reports already and we are waiting for the collation officers to finish their work before we can take a final decision.

“If the votes affected in the area are substantial, we will reschedule the election. If we have enough ballot papers after today, we can schedule a bye election for tomorrow(Sunday).

“If we don’t have enough ballot papers, we will just wait for Abuja to supply us the materials and then conduct a bye-election at the same time in all the affect areas.”

He also confirmed that the police had waded into the situation to ensure that peace returned to the affected areas.

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