Off-cycle poll: Our officials held hostage in Bayelsa, says INEC



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says some of its officials have been held hostage in Brass LGA of Bayelsa state.


The electoral umpire, in a statement, said it is is closely monitoring the situation, adding that the development is detrimental to credible elections.


The commission also called on security agencies to immediately facilitate the release of the officials.


“The Commission is closely watching the situation in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State where our officials are held hostage,” the statement reads.


 “This is detrimental to credible elections. We call on the security agencies to immediately facilitate their release.”


Alongside Kogi and Imo, Bayelsa held its off-cycle gubernatorial election on Saturday, November 11.


On Saturday, the presiding officer (PO) of a polling unit (PU) in Yenagoa LG recounted his ordeal during the Bayelsa election.

The official who did not want to be named, said they were harassed and physically assaulted by some youths upon their late arrival at the polling station due to prior safety concerns.


The PO, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, mentioned being physically attacked.


“The situation escalated when voting finally commenced around noon, as some voters demanded ballot papers without accreditation, causing a dispute that resulted in the destruction of ballot papers,” he said.

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