INEC staff held hostage at Dickson’s local government
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said its staff deployed to distribute electoral materials at Sagbama local government area of Bayelsa State were being held hostage.
Sagbama is the home local government of Governor Seriake Dickson who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election.
INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, who was on a live programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), said staff deployed to convey materials to Sagbama were confronted by some gunmen.
According to him, the staff had to take refuge at the local government headquarters adding that another team was held hostage as they made to distribute materials.
He said security agents had been contacted to help rescue the electoral officials, “We are asking that a gunboat be sent to the place immediately. If necessary, they will have to be evacuated and brought back to Abuja.”
But the Deputy Inspector-General of Police overseeing the election, Argungu Hashimu, said the police was on top of the situation.
“We are taking care of everything,” said Mr. Hashimu, who is also a guest on the NTA programme said, “We are the ones on ground and we are doing our job.”
Cases of violent attacks were reported on Friday around some parts of Bayelsa. The commissioner for Information, Esuene Kikile, had alleged that armed thugs attacked PDP leaders and supporters in Okpoma community in Brass local government areas.