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#AnambraDecides: Attack on election officials caused late deployment to Ihiala LGA, says REC

#AnambraDecides: Attack on election officials caused late deployment to Ihiala LGA, says REC
November 09
22:59 2021

Nkwachukwu Orji, resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Anambra, says some election officials posted to Ihiala LGA were attacked on their way to the area.

Speaking on Tuesday in an interview on Channels Television, Orji said the attack was a “major setback”, which delayed the conduct of the supplementary election.

In the early hours of Monday, Florence Obi, the returning officer for the Anambra governorship election, suspended the collation of results.

Obi said the decision to suspend the collation of results was to give room for a supplementary election in Ihiala LGA.

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Ahmadu Umar, the collation officer for Ihiala LGA, had earlier said there was no election in the entire area.

Ahead of the supplementary election, INEC adjusted the voting time and said election would be conducted from 10am to 4pm.

However, voting materials arrived late to some polling units.

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Speaking on the development, Orji said the first set of workers that were mobilised to Ihiala on Monday were attacked on their way to the LGA.

The REC also said the team was able to regroup and settle in the LGA late Tuesday morning.

“Yesterday, we began mobilisation for this election and the initial team we sent out to go to Ihiala to prepare the ground for our intervention had major challenges,” he said.

“We were attacked. Two teams from our office were attacked on the way to Ihiala. They sustained various forms of injuries. In fact, some of them are still at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital fighting for their lives as we speak.

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“So, that was a major setback for us and we had to pull back. The first set of people were able to get themselves into Ihiala right around 10pm yesterday.

“That was a major challenge. By the time we were able to regroup and to be able to take control of the environment, it was late into this morning.”

He also said the election officials were accompanied by security operatives, but the incident appeared to be an ambush.

“It is not my place to make clear about that. But what I will say is that we could not establish. I think the security agencies are on to this, but the point is that the attack was a major setback,” he said.

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“If you are doing electoral operation, you are moving a large number of people. People go in different sequences. I think they suffered an ambush. It is really hard to describe.”

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