The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially acknowledged the abduction of one of its staff in Bayelsa State just hours before the commencement of the gubernatorial election. The statement, released late at night by Wilfred Ifogah, Head of Voter Education and Publicity acting on behalf of the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga, confirmed the incident.
According to Ifogah, the abducted INEC personnel was the Supervisory Presiding Officer (SPO) assigned to Registration Area-06 (Ossioma) in Sagbama LGA. The abduction occurred while the official was waiting to board a boat at Amassoma Jetty, and security agencies have been informed.
Additionally, Ifogah reported that a boat conveying election personnel to Registration Area-17 (Koluama) in Southern Ijaw capsized. Fortunately, all 12 election personnel and the boat operator were rescued, with no loss of life. However, the Commission lost result sheets for the elections, along with power banks and personal belongings of the staff. Efforts are underway to address these challenges and ensure the smooth conduct of the election in the affected area.
“Ifogah disclosed that the affected Registration Areas have 5,368 registered voters, with 5,311 PVCs collected. INEC is actively working to facilitate the successful conduct of the election in this region,” he added.