The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced its decision to resume collation and counting of ballot in Rivers State Governorship and House of Assembly elections. The Commission had on March 10 halted electoral activities in Rivers State due to what it described as intimidation of its staff, preventing them seamlessly performing their duties and widespread violence caused by armed thugs and the Nigerian Army.
INEC had caused investigation into the happenings and the report which emanated thereon found that elections actually took place for both Governorship and House of Assembly seats and that the Nigerian Army contributed in the disruption of activities at the collation center in the state.
According to Mr. Festus Okoye, the INEC spokesperson, the Commission would announce a new date for the resumption of collation and counting of ballot in the state on March, 20. Already, INEC is said to have results from 17 out of 23 Local Governments in its custody and had declared results for 21 out of 32 state constituencies before the suspension of electoral activities in the state.
In a similar development, the Commission has cancelled the supplementary elections earlier scheduled in Bauchi state on March 23. Acting in view of a report on the elections in the state, which established that the Commission had in its custody, results in Polling Units and Registration Areas, it has approved the resumption of collation and announcement of result in Tafawa Balewa Local Government on March 19. INEC has also replaced the erstwhile Collation Officer who withdrawn from the exercise due to what she described as threat to her life, in order to conclude the electoral process.