By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Mr. Emeka Adizua, the electoral officer for Udung Uko local government area in Akwa Ibom State said he escaped death last Saturday by whiskers from the den of his abductors.
Adizua said that he was kidnapped on the field while performing his duty as electoral officer in the area during the presidential and national assembly elections conducted by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He spoke at INEC headquarters in Uyo, the state capital which also serves as the state collation centre for 2019 general elections.
Narrating his ordeals in the hands of the gunmen who invaded the collation centre in the area, Mr. Adizua said he was beaten blue black by the invaders before taken away to unknown place.
During the process, he said all the election materials which include ballot boxes and ballot papers were destroyed while result sheets were carted away by the hoodlums who were brought in by desperate politicians so as to perfect electoral fraud.
According to him, it took the timely interventions of the Divisional Police Officer for Oron who mobilised force to comb the area upon getting distress calls from the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr. Mike Igini.
Adizua also said that other INEC officials including corps members present ran away for safety. Some of them, he added slept in the bush except those who ran into the houses of people who later turned good Samaritan to them.
Arising from the incident, there was no election results from the entire local government area for presentation to State Returning Officer, Prof. Faraday Osasere for collation.
Reacting to the development, REC, Mike Igini expressed disappointment over such act by people who called “Themselves politicians”.
“It appears that we have lost our sense of humanity in this country. Imagine the election materials destroyed and the huge lost to government by some desperate politicians who are out for chaos because they want to benefit from chaos”
Igini who decried the levels of intimidations and threats to the lives of officials of the commission by politicians in the state, however gave glory to God that inspite of what happened, no life was loss.
The REC, again reiterated his stance on delivering credible, free and fair elections that will serve as good reference point for future elections.
“Our public lives is our open hope. I have no vote to add or subtract. I will not bend for any reason, I rather leave this job with my integrity intact than betray the will of the people. The will of the people must speak in Akwa Ibom State”, Mr. Igini positioned.