The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has expressed concern about some reported cases of violence in Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.
A statement issued by Mr. Festus OKOYE, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee in Abuja, described as unfortunate the spate of violence in the states in spite of all efforts to ensure peaceful elections.
While calling for calm, INEC, assured voters of its commitment to conclude the elections process in both states fairly and credibly.
“Reports from accredited observers and our officials in the field indicate that most voters who were willing to vote had the opportunity to do so.
“The commission delivered materials to its two states offices in good time and made adequate preparations for the movement of staff and materials to the various voting locations.
“There are reports indicating that electoral process was in several places affected by thuggery and violence, which the commission unequivocally condemns.
“We are still receiving, collating and evaluating these reports as we move into the critical phase of result collation,” the commission said.
The commission stressed that results would be collated at registration areas, local government areas and state levels.
It added that its staff were ready to receive those results while advising stakeholders to keep to their commitments to ensure peaceful conduct.
Meanwhile, the commission has expressed appreciation to security agencies, saying they had been supportive so far, in the face of many challenges.
The statement disclosed that the commission deployed staff and materials in 4,352 polling units in the two states for the governorship elections, Kogi West Senatorial rerun election and Brass I State Constituency supplementary election in Bayelsa.
“In addition, national commissioners, resident electoral commissioners and other staff were deployed to monitor and supervise the elections.”