Electoral Officials including the Local Government Collation Officer in Rijau LGA of Niger State were reportedly locked up by party supporters who reportedly threatened to set them ablaze if they failed to cancel the results from 3 polling units in Tunga-Magajiya Registration Area over alleged irregularities.
Out of the 25 LGAs in the state, gubernatorial election results from 24 LGAs have been prsented while that of the Rijau LGA is being awaited.
The collation officer in charge of the governorship election in Rijau local government, Isah Abubakar, the Deputy Registrar, Federal University of Technology, Minna, announced at the INEC headquarters in Minna that he was not ready with the results.
He explained that he and others were “locked up by party supporters at the Local Government Collation Centre,” adding that the supporters alleged irregularities at the affected polling units and insisted that the results be cancelled and a fresh election conducted.
He said it took military intervention to save their lives, while the electoral officer (EO) was asked to write a letter and declared both the governorship and state assembly elections from the local government inconclusive.
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Abubakar said when they finally regained freedom, they could not announce the results at the local government collation centre, and the party agents did not sign the results.
Taking a stand on the matter, the state collation officer, Prof Clement Alawa, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, University of Abuja, said since there were no challenges in 10 registration areas out of the 11 registration areas in the local government, the challenge in 3 polling units in a ward did not invalidate the process.
He then stepped down the collation while he asked the collation officer to separate the affected registration area before making the presentation.
The representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the state collation centre, Sani Idris Kutigi, disagreed with the decision of the state collation officer, saying that good d⁹emocratic system should be upheld.