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Polls: CSO accuses PDP, APC supporters of throwing ballot boxes into lagoon

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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has accused supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) of throwing ballot boxes into lagoon in the Saturday’s elections in Osoroko area of Lagos State.

CDD, a civil society organisation (CSO), in its preliminary report on the observation of the Aprill 11 polls made available yesterday in Abuja, noted that though accreditation went on smoothly without incident in most polling units across the country, significant incidences of shootings, protests, arson and fatalities were recorded in most geopolitical zones.

“For example, election was suspended in Essan PU 004 in Dokota Ward, Gbako LGA, Niger State due to unrest. In Eku community, Ethiope East LGA of Delta State, at least two persons were killed after violence erupted. Furthermore, in Afikpo South LGA of Ebonyi State, thugs reportedly intercepted the transportation of sensitive materials in a polling unit in Oso Ward 2.

“In addition, the Ogudu, Odi-Olowo (Mushin) and Osoroko (Ibeju Lekki) areas of Lagos State witnessed minor skirmishes between supporters of the two major political parties, namely the PDP and APC, with ballot boxes reportedly thrown into the lagoon in Osoroko.

“Gunmen were also reported to have taken over the Town Hall Polling Zone in Ilase-Ijesa, Obokun LGA of Osun state. Rivers state reportedly recorded the highest and most serious cases of violence during the accreditation process. Protests, violence and sporadic shootings over alleged non-availability of some electoral materials were reported in Buguma, Obio Akpor and Andoni LGAs. In Obio Akpor, for example, thugs reportedly snatched electoral materials meant for voting.

“Also in Gokana LGA, men in fake military uniform and identity cards were apprehended by the police. The house of the current Rivers state Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs Joeba West, was also reportedly set ablaze. Clashes involving political party agents were also reported in Iyamoyom in Obubra LGA of Cross River State, leading to injuries,” it said.

The CSO said voter turnout was generally noted to be significantly lower than witnessed during the presidential elections, particularly in urban centres.

“CDD in its post-election analysis will comment more extensively on the issue of voter turnout and apathy.” It said.