The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the governorship elections in Rivers state.
The was made known in a statement issued by Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner on Voter Education.
The electoral body, in its statement, gave some reasons for its decision.
According to Okoye, INEC, in a meeting on Sunday, March 10, 2019, decided to suspend the elections to ensure the safety of its staff.
The statement reads: “Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC) has determined that there has been widespread disruption of elections conducted on March 9, 2019 In Rivers State.
“These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial of polling units and collation centres, staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorized persons.
“In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the Commission is concerned about the credibility of process. Consequently, at a meeting held today March 10, 2019, the Commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the State until further notice.
“This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended and Clause 47(5) of the Regulations and Guidelines of the Commission.
“The Commission has also established a Fact-Finding Committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.
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“We appeal to the people of Rivers State, particularly the voters, for their understanding as we look into the circumstances of these disruptions and what further action needs to be taken by the commission.”
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also condemned the alleged confiscation of the Rivers state governorship election by soldiers.