By Aloysius Umalo, Makurdi
Armed youths suspected to be political thugs have attacked and vandalised materials for the governorship rerun elections in Kwande and Ukum local Government Councils of Benue State in North Central Nigeria.
In the separate incidents, the armed youths overpowered Police and other security operatives on ground forcing voters to flee their Polling Units in the process.
Carted away electoral materials
It would be recalled that the March 9 Governorship and State Assembly elections also recorded a similar attack on INEC materials in Mbalom Council Ward of Gwer East Local Government leading to the cancellation of results in that area.
At Jato-Aka,Tse Akough PU 012 in Yaav Council Ward, Kwande Local Government Area of the State, the armed youths distrupted voting, smatched ballot boxes and carted away electoral materials.
INEC has however confirmed that although some of the materials were recovered, the register was still missing.
Else where in Ukum Local Government, officials conveying electoral materials meant for the rerun elections In Chito, Adzendechi Council Ward were attacked by another group of armed thugs.
Dr. Nentawe Yilwatda, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Benue State confirmed the incidents.
“Yes, a group of suspected thugs have attacked electoral officials and political party agents accompanying voting materials in Ukum Local Government.” he said.
Burned electoral materials
According to him, the armed thugs attacked the electoral officials on their way to Chito Adzendechi Council Ward, the headquarters of Ukum Local Government Area where the supplementary election was meant to take place.
Yilwatda also confirmed that the hoodlums also burned the electoral materials including a generator in the process.
The REC however stated that the electoral officials and political party agents who accompanied the materials were later rescued from the area unhurt.
According to the REC, following the incident, voting processes for the over 13,000 voters in Adzendechi Council Ward have been cancelled.