Voters in Omege Ward, Umuezekoha, Ezza North Local government area of Ebonyi State protested over alleged disruption of elections in their area by suspected All Progressives Congress thugs.
The thugs, according to the protesters invaded a prominent polling unit in the area around 10am and destroyed voting materials meant for the area, including the BVAS machines.
The event occurred at the voting unit of one of the governorship candidates who is incidentally from the area.
The protesters, chanting their frustrations noted that the action of the thugs forcefully disenfranchised them.
They called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to take note as well as do the needful to ensure that they exercise their rights.
Meanwhile, in some of the polling units within the metropolis, there were also reports of violence which voters also alleged were perpetrated by the APC thugs.
At polling unit 01 in Station Urban Primary school, Kpirikpiri Abakaliki, thugs in a Sienna bus swooped on the INEC officials and the voters and made away with thumbprinted ballot papers and ballot box for the Assembly election during sorting and counting.
The INEC Assistant Presiding officer in the unit, Emmanuel Nwizi confirmed the development to newsmen at about 3.40 pm.
He explained: “We had started counting our votes when a group of men trooped in and started arguing about one of the votes.
“In the process, some of them dipped their hands into the ballot box and started mutilating the votes before they forcefully took away the ballots with the box.
“Then we had not started sorting and counting the governorship ballots.”
Some of the eye witnesses and some party agents alleged that the thugs were sent by the APC to destroy the ballots because the APGA candidates were having upper hand.
They further alleged that such disruption were reportedly common in all polling units where candidates of APGA and other opposition political parties held sway.
Our reporter who witnessed counting of the governorship ballot in the unit informed that APGA governorship candidate scored 108 votes in the unit while PDP got 45 votes. APC came distant 3rd with a score of 38 votes.
Nonetheless, Governor David Umahi has described Nigeria’s current elections as the best in its history.
Umahi spoke shortly after casting his vote at the Onuofukuru polling unit in Umunaga, Uburu in Ohaozara local government area.
He expressed excitement with the innovations brought into electioneering by INEC in the country, which according to him, forecloses rigging and other forms of electoral malpractice.
He challenged political parties alleging rigging from their opponents to substantiate their allegations with facts rather than making inciting statements capable of truncating the peace in the state.
“Those who are claiming that a particular political party rigged, should be able to prove that and stop inciting the people
“I think Nigeria has reached a stage where elections will always be better because of the innovation brought in by INEC.
“And there is no amount of intimidation and castigation that will deny the fact that the election of 25th February and today’s election still remains the best in the history of Nigeria,” he said.