Stories from Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday accused each other of hijack of voting materials and violence in some parts of the state during the governorship election.
There was large turnout of voters in Yenagoa, the state capital and several communities across the eight local government areas.
In Opolo suspected thugs invaded the community and fired several shots, which made voters to scamper for safety and disrupted voting but a prompt response by armed policemen and sliders repelled them before voting could resume.
The PDP blamed the APC for the hijack of voting materials and violence in some wards in Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, Nembe and Yenagoa.
The PDP governorship candidate, Senator Douye Diri, who stated this shortly after casting his vote at his polling unit 4 ward six, in Sampou community, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state at about 10.40am urged the security agencies and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to take charge of the situation.
“It is going on peacefully in my unit and local government. Voting is orderly here. It’s going on well here. However, I have reports of pockets of electoral fraud committed by APC, coming on with thugs to hijack materials denying PDP members from voting. I raised the red flag about Nembe Bassambiri. What I have been told is that no PDP agent was allowed to go into Nembe Bassambiri. At Eniwari in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, the reports I have showed that the APC thugs went there. The situation was the same with Opolo, and other places. But we are monitoring the process,” Diri stated.
Diri called for cancellation of cooked up results from polling units where electoral materials were hijacked and charged INEC to justify the huge investments in the election by ensuring credible electoral process.
In a related development, the APC accused PDP of unleashing violence and hijack of electoral materials in its strongholds.
The chairman of the party, Amos Jotham while talking to newsmen alleged that PDP members in YELGA Ward 2, Onopa community and Opolo, in the state capital, accompanied by armed thugs loyal to a serving House of Assembly member hijacked electoral materials.
The party chairman mocked the PDP in the state, which it claimed to be drowning because of the lack of popularity and acceptability of its candidate, decided to resort to hijacking of election materials as the only way out.
He listed other areas where election materials were hijacked by the PDP to include Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s Sagbama Local Government Area, specifically Ward 6, 7, 11 and 14, where the APC said it coasting home to victory.