There was crisis in some parts of Edo State as some suspected political thugs broke into Units 11 and 17 at Eresoyen Primary School, Uhogua- Iguoshodin Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area.
The hoodlums stormed the primary school and carted away three BVAS machines and other voting materials.
At the same polling unit, an INEC officials and voting materials arrived at about 7:30 am and accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously at exactly 8:30 am.
A fracas ensued when the thugs numbering three, alighted from their vehicle and started shooting sporadically into the air to scare voters away. They snatched and carried away the BVAS machines and other voting materials from the INEC officers in both units and left in their car.
Commenting on the ugly incident, a voter in the area who did not want his names to be mentioned, lamented that there was hardly any security agent around. He noted that though there were enough INEC officers on ground, the BVAS machine allocated to Unit 17 could not adequately attend to the crowd at the unit.
“What happened here can only be seen in Hollywood films. Some men came in from nowhere shooting, they also ordered us to sleep on the ground as they took the three BVAS machines away. The INEC officials and some voters ran into the bush. Voting has been disrupted in this unit.
“Before voting started, the INEC official was addressing voters before thugs invaded the polling unit. Initially, the INEC official told us that the BVAS machines in Unit 11 were not re-configured because the accredited voters for the last presidential election were still appearing.
“So, someone took him on a bike to their centre for the problem to be rectified. They came back within an hour and the INEC official declared that the machine has started working well. It was only about 10 persons that had voted before the gunmen arrived and started shooting”.
He said from the look of things, a repeat of the problems recorded in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly election was in the making before the attack.
“Looking at the whole scenario, before the shooting started, what happened in this Unit 17 during the presidential and NASS election would have played out.
“In the Presidential and NASS election the BVAS machine in Unit 17 was logged out, about 300 persons were unable to vote while that of Unit 11 in the same polling unit area was still working.
“In spite of the complaint, INEC still allocated one BVAS machine to Unit 17 while Unit 11 with fewer voters got two BVAS machines. To me, this one looks like systematic disen-franchisement,” he added.
Another voter in the locality, Mr. Matthew Ikhalo said, “I will describe what transpired at Eresoyen Primary School as Commando film.
“Thugs just took away electoral materials. We all ran into the bush, as they were shooting. The security was not adequate. How can one security person be drafted to a polling unit as big as this? There was no election here as thugs attacked the units”.
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