Okon Bassey in Uyo
Four members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) were yesterday abducted with materials meant for the re-run elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area (LGA), Akwa Ibom State.
Different sources told THISDAY that thugs of the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) allegedly abducted the corps members at unit 2, ward 11, Ikot Osum in Essien Udim.
One of the sources claimed that unarmed security operatives attached to the unit were watching helplessly as the hoodlums rushed the corps members and the election materials into waiting vehicle.
Similarly, according to the source, a female corps member was also abducted at unit 8, ward 11 of Ikot Akpabio village square. But she was promptly rescued and materials recovered by security operatives.
Despite few reported cases of disruption, THISDAY observed that the re-run election in Essien Udim Local Government Area was generally peaceful.
Dozens of hoodlums, who tried to hijack materials, were arrested and taken to the state police headquarters in Uyo.
The re-run election was for the Senate, Federal House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly seats.
The APC had on Friday announced its withdrawal from the re-run election in the state. Security personnel were deployed to various voting points in the area.
Exceptional security presence was noticed at Independence High School, Ukana West, Essien Udim, the polling unit of the Niger Delta affairs minister, Chief Godswill Akpabio.
THISDAY gathered that despite the withdrawal of the APC from re-run election there was tension at Akpabio’s polling unit as some people including journalists were stopped at the gate.
A photojournalist was wounded in an attempt to access the polling units. There was a general low turnout of voters for the rerun election.
People’s Democratic Party stalwart and Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Prince Ukpong Akpabio explained that the heavy security was to check thugs from invading polling units.
However, the State Police Command described the rerun elections as very peaceful in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Nnudam Fredrick stated this in an interview with journalists in Essien Udim while monitoring the election.
He said the rerun election in Essien Udim was one of the best elections, he had ever witnessed as a police officer, saying there was enough security officers to ensure that the rerun elections was smooth.
Categorically the rerun elections in Essien Udim had been very peaceful.
“This is what is duplicated in all the polling stations across Essien Udim, so the elections have been generally peaceful,” Fredrick said.
He, however, said some persons had been arrested for electoral malpractices and the command was conducting investigation to determine their involvement.
“Some persons have been arrested for involvement in electoral malpractices in Essien Udim, as I speak to you investigation is ongoing.
“I cannot tell you the exact number of persons under our custody because am in the field for now,” he said