The rescheduled National Assembly and State House rerun and supplementary elections in Rivers State has finally started. NaijaNews.com is on groud in Rivers state, We Promise to deliver the latest to you as it happens.
7.00: 200 PDP supporters, chieftains arrested, party says
Shortly before the crucial elections get underway, the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State has cried out over alleged arrests of “200” of its supporters and chieftains, including chairmen of Gokana local government area and the state’s commissioner for Local Government Service.
7.17: Amaechi denies ordering PDP chieftains’ arrests
Minister for Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has denied being behind the alleged clampdown on PDP supporters and chieftains.
The Minister’s spokesperson, David Iyofor, said, “We don’t know what you talking about. Amaechi is not the police neither does he work for the police or any of the security agencies. Please find out from the police or any of the Security agencies if they made any arrest. Kindly leave Amaechi out of this.”
8.06: By now, all the 20 local government areas where elections will hold have had materials needed for the polling, The last batches were deployed yesterday.
8.55: The INEC office on Aba Road is now dry. Last batches of officials, including supervisors and collation officers among others, just moved to their respective places of assignments, heavily guarded by policemen. For all vehicles leaving the premises on election duty, a truck-load of armed policemen has to lead.
9.18: We have confirmed there is bitter disagreement between PDP and APC at ward 9, Unit 3 of the Ogu LGA over result sheet. The result sheet is missing, leading to counter accusations of snatching the vital material.
9.20: Elections have started across the state. We have confirmed developments Port Harcourt, Ikwere, Ogu, and Bonny.
9.47: Election going on smoothly in Asari/Toru LGA, observers said. The area is calm and people are showing right attitude.
Heavy security presence may have helped the situation.
Election not stalled at ward 9 unit 3, Ogu LGA where result sheet is missing.
“Voters just stand without voting,” a resident told PT on phone.
10.25: Election is not holding in Tai LGA at all. INEC decided not to conduct the election there, following a controversial court ruling during the week.
It then follows elections are being conducted in 20 LGAs.
10.27: Turnout impressive, election peaceful in Bera, Gokana LGA
The Rivers legislative rerun election has commenced peacefully in the state with a massive turnout of voters in Gokana Local Government Area of the state.
The rerun is also held in eight Federal Constituencies for the House of Representatives seats and 10 State Constituencies for state assembly seats.
In Bera Ward 16, Gokana LGA, the turnout was early and massive while the election materials arrived at 8.30 a.m.
NAN also reports that card readers are working well in all the 16 polling units of Bera Ward 16 in local government area visited.
The accreditation and voting started simultaneously at exactly 9.11a.m in all the units of Bera Ward 16.
NAN further reports that all the polling units in the local government were organised in the Community Secondary School, Bera.
The agency reports that voters were coordinated but under the heavy presence of the security operatives.
All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance agents were seen in each of polling units in the Ward 16.
10.30: Materials just being moved to polling units in Gokana LGA. The materials and election personnel are being escorted by soldiers and policemen.
Voters are said to be turning out enthusiastically.
10.41: BREAKING: INEC just announced cancellation of election in ward 9 unit 3 of Ogu/Bolo LGA after hoodlums carted away result sheets and bitter disagreement between PDP and APC.
10.41: Buguma in Asari/Toru fully taken over by military operatives, bringing tranquility to the place otherwise known for electoral violence.
The exercise is underway under a calm atmosphere.
10.55: The exercise is underway in Khana LGA.
“No, no no, there’s no violence; everything is going on smoothly and peacefully,” an observer Nwagu Ezenwa of Partners for Electoral Reform just spoke with reporters.
Mr Ezenwa had been to Eleme earlier. In Eleme he said the exercise did not start until 9.30 am although situation there was calm as at the time he was there.
12.34: Late arrival of materials delay voting in some polling units, wards
As Rivers people vote in the legislative re-run elections, late arrival of materials has delayed commencement of voting in some wards and units in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent reports that voting was yet to commence at 10.45 a.m. in some wards and units due to delayed arrival of voting materials.
NAN gathered that the wards and units affected include; Eleme, Ahoada-West, Etche, Bonny, Tai and Ikwerre Local Governments Areas.
Voters and party supporters were seen milling around polling units in Alesa and Ogale communities in Eleme council area awaiting the arrival of election materials.
Reports also showed that both materials and polling officers were yet to be seen at polling centres in Mbiama in Ahoada West council area as at the time of the report.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, an accredited Election Observer, commended the timely commencement of the elections in areas but heavy presence of security personnel in polling units in the Ogoni axis of the state.
“So far, voting has not commenced in the areas I have visited, but there is huge security presence,’’ he said.
12.56: At unit 1 and 2, Ward 1 of Eleme LGA, the process is going on smoothly.
“It’s been okay,” the presiding officer for unit 2 said; adding “there’s not been issue of violence.”
12.58: In Rotimi Amaechi’s Ubima, Ward 8, Ikwere LGA, there’s no voting. Voters are “just hanging”, having had their rights breached by political actors. There’s theft of result sheet.
We have confirmed this from multiple sources.
13.51: “Storm the place…” – PDP candidate giving orders.
Mr. Nwogu, PDP’s candidate for Rivers South East senatorial district, who just accused soldiers of cooperating with APC to steal result sheet, was overheard asking somebody through phone: “Don’t you have enough boys to storm the place and hijack this thing for me?”
Later, he was telling aides sitting by his side that, “the situation demands I should go to the field myself.”
14.01: Theft of result sheet at Abonchia, confirmed at Ward 8, Eleme LGA.