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Violence Mars Enugu Bye-Election As APC Raises Alarm Over Intimidation

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Violence by political thugs alleged to be working for the ruling peoples Democratic party PDP on Saturday marred the Isi Uzo House of Assembly  bye election in Enugu state.

Our Correspondent who monitored the exercise reports that there were skirmishes at various polling units, particularly Umaram,  Ogo Ikem, Obegwu and Community secondary school polling units 

Despite heavy security presence at virtually all voting centres, there were incidents, including ballot box Snatching  that made some voters particularly aged people abandon the Civic exercise and went back to their respective homes.

At Community secondary school polling unit Ikem, some political thugs believed to be working for the PDP, unleashed terror on a retired Custom officer, and Chieftain of the APC, Chief Tony MBA. 

The political miscreants had after molesting the former top Customs officer, removed his  medicated eye glasses from his face and smashed it.

At Central school Ikem Nkwo, polling unit, same miscreants malhanded the APC Coordinator in charge of the polling unit, Mr. Issac Edeh, even as they Snatched his mobile phone from him.

The development was later brought under control by a team of Military men who stormed the Central school Umuaram, where the violence was almost getting out of hand.

 Speaking with newsnen shortly after casting his vote at the Central School Umuaram, polling unit, the APC Candidate for the election, Engr. MacDonald Ejiofor Okwor, alleged that the exercise has been characterised by violence in some polling units.

He added that information reaching him from some of his party’s Agents in parts of the 11political wards where the election is taking place, has it that some suspected thugs, working for the PDP have been intimidating his supporters and snatching ballot boxes.

 The APC flag bearer, equally  accused the ruling PDP of engaging the services of cultists in the election, “

saying “I don’t know what electioneering process is turning into in this country.

“PDP is using thugs to harass and intimidate APC members, as well as snatch ballot boxes. Is this how to conduct elections? 

“At the Federal College of Education Eha-Amufu it is the same story, cultists and thugs hired by the PDP were Intimidating  and harassing our members.

He however, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to take note of the violence with a view to cancelling results that may emanate from such areas .

Speaking also with newsmen after casting her vote at Obegwu polling unit ward 1, the PDP Candidate in the election and Widow of the late member that represented the Constituency until his death early this year during Covid 19, Mrs. Amaka Ugwueze, expressed optimism that she will be victorious at the end of the day.

She however, dismissed the violence claim by the APC Candidate, saying “the election has been very peaceful and we thank God for the calmness.

“Am optimistic that at the end of the day I will win, but you know, in politics, it is not yet over until it is over. For me, I came out for continuity, to continue from where my late husband stopped.

“But if at the end of the day my opponent defeats me, I will congratulate him.

Also addressing Journalists after going round some polling units, Enugu state Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC), Dr. Emeka Ononanadu, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of voters, stressing that the alleged skirmishes being experienced in some polling units were purely internal issues between the political gladiators.

 According to him, such issues have nothing to do with the electoral body, as the Commission did all that was expected of it constitutionally before the election day.

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