Late Arrival of Materials, Violence Mar Bayelsa Poll

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SWITZERLAND, NOVEMBER 16 – As the gubernatorial elections proceed today across Bayelsa state, Today’s ECho has observed that while the process had gone smoothly in some areas, it has been marred by violence, intimidation and late arrival of voting materials in others.

As at 12:00PM, voting materials had not arrived at several polling units in the state.

Subsequently, the two major parties, All Progressives Congress(APC) and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) have traded accusations on the party responsible for the violence and intimidation.

Today’s ECho gathers that Nembe, one of the hot spots in Bayelsa and the home of APC chieftain, Timipre Sylva is experiencing intense violence

According to a source, material for ward 8, 9 & 10 have been hijacked to an unknown location by APC thugs at Nembe. There are also sporadic shooting in the area as well by alleged APC led thugs.

According to media sources, some youths suspected to be political thugs were involved in a heated argument over the movement of voting materials to various polling units in Otueke, Ngbia LGA of Bayelsa State, which is the home of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The incident happened at INEC’s Registration Area Centre inside Community Secondary School, Otueke at 10.45 a.m.

People, including journalists and election observers, who were close to the scene left in a hurry when it was noticed that some of the youths were armed.

The angry youths had disagreed over the destination of a set of voting materials.

The former president expressed disappointment over the late arrival of election materials to his Polling Unit 39, Ward 13, in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa State.

Jonathan, who expected to cast his vote, stepped out of his house at 8.30 a.m. but met only journalists as the Independent National Electoral Commission officials were yet to arrive at the venue.

“Are you an electoral officer, where are they?” The former president asked a journalist at the venue.

“Well this is where I will vote, but since they are not here yet, let me go back inside.

“You see now, youths of nowadays, you need to do more,” he stated.

Also, Koluama Southern Ijaw Ward 17. Election materials has reportedly been destroyed by alleged thugs.

However, there was smooth transition of electoral material to different polling units in agudama-Epie, Yelga ward 4. According to sources from the area, the atmosphere is peaceful and calm.

Stay here for more updates on the election.

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