Monday , July 22 2019
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Election Violence: INEC Workers Seek Transfer From Rivers

Some employees of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Rivers State are considering applying for transfer to neighbouring states as a result of election violence that has always characterised every poll in the South-South state.

The INEC workers told our correspondent on Saturday that they were always afraid each time elections approached in Rivers, adding that they were tired of the situation.

One of them, who simply identified herself as Cordelia, said though no local government was safe during election periods in the state, places like Emohua and some riverine areas were more volatile than the others during election time.

She recalled that the fear among INEC workers had increased after an ad hoc worker, Ibisaki Amachree, was allegedly shot dead while she was moving election materials to a registration area centre.

She said, “Majority of us are considering applying for transfer from Rivers State to any other state close to it. This is because of violence. For the past four to five years now, every election in the state has been marred by violence.

“It is not like that in other neighbouring states. Remember that an INEC ad hoc worker lost her life. We learnt that she was shot by a soldier. We are afraid and that is why some of us may begin to seek transfer soon.”

Another employee of the commission, who does not want her name mentioned, said she had agreed with her family to seek transfer after the supplementary elections in the state.

“I don’t think some of us can be part of the conduct of another election in 2023. The level of violence in the state during election is disturbing.

“We are INEC staff, but politicians, security agents and thugs intimidate us during election period,” she added.

Recall that some workers of the commission in the state had sought to be transferred to other local government areas within the state after violence erupted in some areas during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Some of those who covered Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area were said to have asked to be posted to other areas that were less volatile for the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

PUNCH.     

About Lanre Oyetade

A multiple award winner in Economics and business journalism, Lanre Oyetade has served close to two decades in the media industry, spanning different notable stables, where he is privileged to have risen to the position of a title editor. A masters degree holder in Economics from the University of Lagos and doctoral student at the Babcock University, he is a winner of the prestigious NMMA Capital Market Award for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005), and was also a nominee for the body’s banking and finance and money market awards for two years. In 2013, he also won the Most Outstanding Business-Reporting Title Editor award of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). A minister in the LORDS’s vineyard, he has been an inspirational speaker and resource person at many corporate and religious fora since early 2004, and has so far authored three books on the capital market; on personal effectiveness, and on personal finance, in 2008 and 2014, respectively.