There was palpable tension in Cross River state on Saturday following abduction of INEC staff and highjacked of election materials by unknown gun men in Affanya community of Abi LGA just to disrupt election process to vote who to represent the people of Abi/Yakurr federal constituency at National Assembly.
The rerun elections came up following
an Apeal Court ruling in Septemenr 2019, that the elections which ushered Dr. Alex Egbona candidate for the APC opportunity to represent the Abi/ Yakurr people of Cross River at the national Assembly be invalidated and urged INEC to rescheduled a re- run in 8 polling units of Afayna/Igoni-Igoni ward in Abi LGA of the State.
Speaking with news men Saturday on the issue at INEC office in Abi LGA of the state Independent Electoral Commissioner INEC Federal Commissioner, for South South zone, Dr. Mohammed Lecky, expressed wordiness on the incident and said he is shocked that people can still resort to the use of very barbaric and savage ways to truncate the electoral process simply because of fear that they way loose out.
Lecky, who spoke in company of Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Alalibo Johnson, and the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, Mrs. Irene Ngozi Oghuma, why people could become so desperate to the extent of launching attack on in the middle of the river without minding if the boat will capsize with the passengers in the boat.
He said that the incident occurred in the middle of the river leading to the community.
“Gunmen accosted the electoral officials with materials and went away with all the voting materials along with the SPO (State Presiding Officer).
“Well security men that accompanied the materials and men of election duties decided to avoid casualty by not engaging the unknown armed men in the middle of the river.
“However, i thank God that all the NYSC members on duty and other election duty officials have returned safely to office except the SPO, whose phone is ringing but he is not picking.”
In his remarks one Mr. Charles Egbuluke who claimed to be an eye witness stated that the attacker launched their dragnet at about 9:00am while the INEC officials were trying to find their way to elecrion duty at Affafanya community
Ebuluke who according to him is fisherman by profession stated that the incidence occurred along Agikpo- Igonigonu river axis in the LGA.
“As i I was doing my fishing business, I saw so people coming so fast trying to meet up with a boat which had gone in from of them with officials of INEC in the boat.
“Immediately they got close to the boat that they were pursuing, they began to shoot. They shut until the rider of the boat became scared and the ceased the election materials and abducted one person whom i leant was a staff of INEC.
Hijacking of election materials has become a common issue in Nigeria.