Hoodlum, suspected of being political thugs, disrupted the ongoing State House of Assembly elections in the Ute, Ose local government area of Ondo state, Peoples Gazette has learned.
The thugs, who arrived with dangerous weapons, seized the ballot papers in some community units and destroyed them.
The Gazette collected that the thugs were visiting the various units in the Community District 12 area, disrupting the voting exercise.
One of the voters, who gave her name simply as Adeleke, said the thugs allegedly worked for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates in the House of Assembly poll.
“They realized that their (APC) candidates were losing in the election and they had to interrupt the process. They chased the INEC staff on duty and we had to run to save our dear life,” he said.
Multiple sources also said that the thugs had previously moved through some areas of the community ahead of elections, threatening to deal with anyone who did not vote for their candidates.
Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, the spokeswoman for the Ondo Police Command could not immediately be reached for comment on the incident.
However, a police source hinted that security agents have been deployed in the units affected by the violence.
In a related development, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) seized three trucks for violating the Police Inspector General’s “Vehicular Movement” order.
Oyekola Oyelami, the acting Resident Election Commission (REC), revealed this to reporters while monitoring the exercise over the weekend.
Mr. Oyelami said the trucks were seized by the Electoral Monitoring Team comprising INEC in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Electoral Security (ICCES).
He added that the ICCES monitoring team included; the police, the military, the Nigerian Immigration Service, EFCC, NOA and NDLEA.
“It was said that the covered trucks came from the north of the country.
“But the vehicles have now been parked at the Police Special Anti-Cult Squad premises along Oda road in Akure,” Mr. Oyelami added.
However, he denounced the low voter turnout in Saturday’s electoral exercise despite the awareness raised by the electoral commission.
“Although, the process would be evaluated later to determine the level of apathy.”
The Gazette reports that the INEC team visited the state’s Akure South, Akure North and Ifedore LGAs.