When Umahi inaugurated Ebubeagu security outfit in Ebonyi. Photo: PM News
‘The suspects who came to the polling unit shot sporadically and injured three persons, who are currently at the hospital before destroying the BVAS machine’
By Nweze Anaga,
Crisis is rocking Omege Ward, Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as the community is protesting the destruction of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) election materials meant for the Saturday governorship and state assembly election by suspected state government-owned security outfit – Ebubeagu – yesterday.
The protesters are claiming that the destruction and burning of INEC materials such as BVAS was to disenfranchise by the state government because the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) gubernatorial candidate in the state, Professor Ifeanyi Bernard Odoh, comes from the area.
Eyewitness told Nigeria News Flight that the suspects who came to the polling unit shot sporadically and injured three persons, who are currently at the hospital before destroying the BVAS machine meant for the election.
APGA ward agent, Mr. Nwafor Benjamin, said that it was an unfortunate situation as it deprived the people of the right to vote.
“What happened here is very unfortunate and it has never happened in Omege Ward before. Our youths and the Civil Defense men accompanied the materials from the local government to the polling unit.
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“On reaching here, people were waiting for INEC to bring out the materials, unknown to us, some Ebubeagu [state-owned security outfit] people came down from a bike with pump action guns and started shooting and injured three people.
“One of them rushed to where INEC officials kept the materials and brought out sensitive items like the BVAS and register and started shooting to scare people away before burning the BVAS,” he said.
Another witness, who spoke anonymously, lamented that the election materials were destroyed and consequently denied them the right to vote.
“We have been here since morning to vote but they have destroyed our materials. All the women are here to vote. We need to vote; it is our right.” she added.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Onome Onovewakpoyeya, who confirmed the incident, said that police were on top of the situation to ensure sanity in the election.
“Yes, we heard that hoodlums disrupted the place initially, and made away with BIVAS and others; but right now, we are on city patrol; we are actually on it.” the Police PPRO said.