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Niger communities chase away INEC officials over bandits’ attacks

Communities in Adunu and Kwagana wards in Paikoro LGA of Niger State, as well as those in Beni Ward, have attacked and chased away INEC…

Communities in Adunu and Kwagana wards in Paikoro LGA of Niger State, as well as those in Beni Ward, have attacked and chased away INEC officials over persistent bandits’ attacks in the areas.

The Electoral Officer (EO) in charge of Paikoro LGA, Oluwatoyin Ahmed, disclosed this during the results collation at the state headquarters of INEC in Minna yesterday.

She said that elections did not hold in two wards: Adunu and Kwagana, due to protests and attacks on electoral officials by members of the communities.

She explained that residents of the communities asked the electoral officials to leave, saying that they were being attacked and killed on a daily basis without any intervention from the government.

She said, “They attacked electoral officials and chased them away at Kafin-Koro. So, elections did not hold in those communities. They said the government had abandoned them.”

In Munya LGA, the collation officer, Prof Maroof Anifowose, said elections did not hold in five polling units in Beni Ward as residents refused to participate due to attacks by bandits.

The affected communities of Adunu and Kwagana in Paikoro LGA and Beni in Munya LGA have been reported to be under bandits’ attacks in the last five days during which the Village Head of Beni was killed while returning from the farm while dozens were reportedly abducted in the last five days.

The state agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sani Idris Legbo Kutigi, said the report they got from their ward and unit representatives indicated that the affected communities had been occupied by bandits and electoral officials could not access them to conduct elections.

Kutigi said that Adunu and its neighbouring communities were attacked on the eve of the governorship election.

However, the collation officer in charge of Edati LGA, Prof Jonathan Yisa, said elections from 10 polling units in six registration areas were cancelled due to fighting among party supporters and destruction of voting materials, including ballot papers and boxes.

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