The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has threatened to cancel election results of crises-ridden areas during the presidential and National Assembly elections in Kogi.
Dr Hale Longpet, Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), sounded the warning while reacting to the crises that erupted in some Local Government areas.
There were reports of thugs interfering with some polling units in Anyigba and Dekina in the Kogi East, and Mopa in the Kogi West as well as parts of Kogi Central, where voting materials were allegedly carted away by thugs.
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“You know the electoral law says that where there are disruption to the process, the result will be cancelled; the very particular units’ results will be cancelled.
“The issues, initially, were only in the Kogi East and Central, but I can’t tell exactly where and where in the state have been affected until the results are brought by the electoral officers.
“We understood that because of the violence those affected areas couldn’t conclude election there.
“I’m shocked that people can go to that level and disrupt something that everybody should have enjoyed.
“Election is a peaceful and willful thing that people are offered to freely participate in.
“Again, if people are given assurance that everyone will enjoy a pleasant experience, why then should we have thugs invading the whole town or the local government, disrupting the conduct of the elections?” he asked.
Longpet said, “This is very sad and shocking, when you look at the loss of lives involved.”
He explained that “election is not war,” so If you were standing in for election to provide services for your people, you don’t need to engage in these destructive activities.
He said if anyone feels he does not want to be part of the elections, he or she does not have go out there to vote.
According to him, people who have interest to bring good things to their communities go out to positively engage and vote or exercise their franchise and they should not be stopped or denied the opportunity.
He disclosed that he went out with heads of the security operatives in the state in a motorcade to monitor the elections starting from Adankolo to Crucial, through to Kabawa and Falele.
He said, “Yet in all these places, we didn’t see anyone angry but people were all smiling and casting their votes peacefully.”
The REC expressed happiness that everywhere inside Lokoja was very peaceful, and not even a voice was raised.