Security operatives have foiled an attempt by political thugs to abduct the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State.
The thugs had invaded a Registration Area Centre in Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of the state, with the intention of carting away election materials.
Attempt by the thugs to whisk away the INEC officials into their waiting vehicle was repelled by the security operatives deployed in the centre.
An eyewitness disclosed that the armed security operatives fired into the air from a distance, when voters in the area raised an alarm over the presence of the thugs.
“The thugs quickly retreated into their bus and sped off on hearing the sound of the gun,” the eyewitness told NAN on the condition of anonymity.
An officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) at the scene said: “The thugs were coming to hijack the INEC officials and election materials.
“But luck ran out on them when some people started shouting during a stampede caused by fear. It was their shout that alerted the armed security personnel, who quickly shot into the air, forcing the thugs to take to their heels.”
There was heavy presence of security personnel on major roads in Imo.
In Owerri, the state capital, and its environs, armed security operatives mounted checkpoints at strategic locations as early as 6 a.m. to enforce restriction on movements.
Heavily armed soldiers were seen at different entry points into the city, stopping and searching vehicles, as well as interrogating the drivers and passengers before allowing them to go.