Bayelsa poll: Soldiers arrest ballot box-snatching suspects


Two persons suspected to be agents of one of the political parties involved in Saturday’s supplementary governorship election in Bayelsa have been arrested for allegedly snatching a ballot box.
The suspects were arrested by soldiers at Otuokpoti Unit 1, Ward 2, Ogbia Local Government Area, where the box was allegedly snatched.
The suspects were said to have forcefully carried the ballot box while polling was ongoing at the unit.
The incident caused pandemonium at the unit but after the suspects were taken away, accreditation and voting resumed.
An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official in the ward, who did not want to be named, confirmed that security reinforcement had been sent to the area and that election would continue.
A member of the security team in the ward said that the suspects would be taken to Yenagoa, the state capital, while investigation would be carried out on the incident.
However, police in the state said they were yet to receive report on the incident.
Spokesman of the command, Mr Asinim Butswat, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said it was possible that such incident occurred in the polling area but that the command had not received report on it.
Butswat, however, said that the situation was calm in most polling units where the election was being conducted.
The supplementary election in the state is holding in Southern Ijaw and in 101 polling units in other parts of the state where the Dec. 5, 2015 governorship poll was cancelled due to violence.
According to Butswat, reports from the units indicate that all is calm.
“ The command has done necessary deployments to all polling units. In most units, accreditation and voting have commenced and it has been peaceful so far.
“ Our men are on ground and are on top of the situation,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, accreditation and voting began in Otuabagi, Otuekemi and other units in Ward 12, Ogbia Local Government Area between 8.15 a.m. and 8.40 a.m.
It was observed the card reader in the polling units were functional.
Mr Mike Ebong, a voter in unit 16 who assessed the conduct of the exercise said that it was orderly.
Another voter, Mr James Tariowrie, said that he decided to vote for the betterment of the state. (NAN)

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