By Daniel Edu
The off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa State took a tumultuous turn when unidentified assailants, suspected to be thugs, launched an attack on ad-hoc staff from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member.
The criminal incident unfolded at Ward 1, Unit 23 in Onopa, Yenagoa Local Government Area, where the attackers made off with essential election materials, including the BVAS. The targeted individuals, who were actively engaged in the collation and sorting of votes, were momentarily disrupted by the armed thugs.
According to a representative of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who spoke to Daily Post, the assailants seized the opportunity during the ongoing electoral activities to commit the crime. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in connection with the incident.
In another part of the state, specifically at Ward 11 of Opume and Emakalakala in the Ogbia Local Government area, alleged thugs caused disruptions at polling units 14, 15, and 19. Despite the interference, it was reported that some voting results had already been recorded before the disruption occurred.
Similarly, at Ward 3 in the Olodiama community of the Southern Ijaw Local Government area, armed thugs targeted polling units 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19, making away with the original result sheets. The incident highlights the challenges faced by electoral processes in certain regions, emphasizing the need for enhanced security measures during such crucial events.