- Category: April 2011 Polls
- Published on Friday, 06 May 2011 23:50
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1016
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ordered a fresh vote in four local government areas (LGAs) after ballot boxes were stolen and fake voting materials used.
But Friday's re-run appeared to face similar problems.
"It's no use. There is massive fraud in the four LGAs," said Victor Ume, chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (AGPA) opposition party.
"People have been arrested with already written results and thumb-printed ballot papers ... It is very frustrating indeed. Unscrupulous elements here do not want a free and fair election in this state," he said.
Protesters destroyed an INEC office in one community after a group of youths were arrested for thumb-printing ballot papers and being in possession of pre-written results sheets.
Voting materials failed to arrive for hours at several polling units and there were fights elsewhere.
"There was a fight at Oji township primary school, where indigenes tried to stop some people from being accredited, saying they were strangers who had come to rig the election," said Timothy Oda, a local observer.
"At Ngo-Okpoala some thugs are harassing and attacking people to scare them away," he said. Ballot box snatching and thuggery marred state governorship elections in some other parts of Nigeria last week, although there was little of the orchestrated mob violence which had undermined similar votes in the past.
The state elections were the final stage of an electoral cycle deemed by observers and many Nigerians to have been the fairest since the end of military rule in 1999, despite some of the worst political violence for years.
President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south, beat his main rival, ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the north, but the ruling party lost control of several states and saw its parliamentary majority weakened.
Buhari supporters launched violent protests in towns across the north after the results were announced, burning homes, shops, churches and mosques in violence which a civil rights group said had killed at least 500 people.
A curfew and heavy military presence brought the unrest under control and Jonathan, who also won millions of votes in the north, has pledged an "all-inclusive" government.