3 INEC ad hoc staff held hostage in Warri South regain freedom
Three ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta, allegedly held hostage on Sunday, have been freed. The Warri South INEC Electoral Officer, Mr Kingsley Ogboe, confirmed this to newsmen in Warri on Monday. Ogboe, who said he was not authorised to speak to journalists, however, said “they were released at about 11:00 pm on Sunday”.
The electoral officer, who declined further comment, simply said, “we are waiting for the results from other local government areas”. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victims: Yetunde Adeleke, Stephanie Udoh and Theresa Igien, all female were allegedly held by angry voters at Oki 1, off Okere Road, Ward 5, unit 19.
They were allegedly held hostage after the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) brought for the Presidential and National Assembly elections in the unit reportedly crashed.
Angered by the development, the voters, who had waited endlessly on Saturday and Sunday to exercise their franchise, got infuriated and decided to hold them hostage.
One of the victims, Adeleke told newsmen that the BVAS brought to the unit was configured for Saturday and there was no back up for them.
However, the angry voters said that they were infuriated because the adhoc staff wanted to resort to manually voting as an alternative against the acceptable norms of the use of BVAS.
“Instead of seeking for a solution, they said that they would conduct the voting manually and that is not acceptable by us,” they said.
The voters also accused the electoral officers of being compromised by way of trying to disenfranchise them. Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, collation of results have not started in Warri South.