MY EXPERIENCE AS APO 1 IN UNIT 6, WARD 4, OF EMOHUA LGA, IN RIVERS STATE SENATORIAL, STATE HOUSE OF REP AND NATIONAL HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY RE-RUN ELECTION ON 19/03/2016
I have been hearing that hudlums do snatch election materials from INEC officials during voting process until 19th March, 2016 when election materials were snatched in my polling unit where am acting as the Assistant Prisiding Officer 1(APO 1).
When we first arrived our RAC(Registration Area Center) on 18/03/2016, many people who are not INEC ad hoc staffs were seen hovering around the RAC. After collecting election material from our SPOs(Supervising Presiding Officers) at around 6:00AM, we set out to our various polling units after much delay. The buses that were conveying us to our various polling units were just crawling. Peole that are to work at different polling units were to move together accompanied by soldiers, SARS and police officers.
The crawling way of movement made us(my team-PO, APO 1, APO 11 and three police officers) to arrive our polling unit at around 3:20PM. We were the last people to reach their polling unit in our ward. The card reader failed after trying all the 10 fingers of the first person that came to vote. As the second person showed up for accreditation, a group of huddlums entered our polling unit from unknown where and made away with some of our election materials except our card reader(with me), ballot paper and election result(with the APO 11) . We all ran away including the 3 police men that were working with us. There was a pandemonium in the unit.
After the noises subsided, we re-converged at one place to discuss on how to move back to the LGA, since all the people that we called to come for our rescue who actually picked the call did not give us quick attention and there is only one road leading to the place except through water. One of the party agents among the two main party in Nigeria, who told us that the election materials were snatched by the other party member, offered to help us move out of the village. After much contemplation on whether we are save to move out of the village at that time or not, we agreed to move since we believed that the huddlums might come back to harm us or carry the remaining election materials. One of the villagers offered his car too. So, the police men entered the bus that conveyed us to the place and the rest of us with 2 of the villagers(the party agent and one other village boy) and the owner of the car left for the LGA.
On our way to the LGA, the party agent that were with us said that we have to pass through his party senetorial candidate to confess that it is other party member that snatched the materials from us. That was when we began to fill unconfortable with them. Then, th APO 11 insisted to board a car to Choba against the wish of the party agent and ours too. By then, we have lost the police men on the way from the community. The driver called me separately and asked me whether we and the party agent did not discuss anything? Which I sincerely replied that we did not discuss anything. On my own, I have decided not to meet or talk with the politician because some of them are heartless. After seeing how the guy was serious about taking us especially the woman(APO 11 who was with the result sheets and ballot paper) to the politician, the PO knelt down and begged the woman to give them the ballot paper and the election result sheets that she was carrying.
I left the scene with my phone on my ear as if i was making call. After I have given them about 300m gap to the LGA, I saw my PO running towards my direction. I asked him ” what happened?” And he told me that the APO 11 has been tied and thrown into a Honda accord. Then, we ran together to the LGA. We saw many other corpers too who were complaining of the same snatch experience in their polling unit too. This is just the summary of what happened.
Please, thank God with me for this is my true life story. I am a serving corp member in Emohua LGA of Rivers state