On Friday the 15th of February 2019 which was the supposed 2019 general election Eve, residents in Obot Akara in Akwa Ibom State suffered measure electoral violence as thugs gathered at the INEC office in Obot Akara L.G.A to disrupt the supposed election which has been postponed
Prior to the violence INEC Adhoc staffs which where mostly Youth Corpers gathered at the INEC office to be conveyed to their individual RACs after been sent back from the stipulated RACs due to lack of preparations by INEC to provide RACs for the core members as there were no Electoral Officers, Supervisory Presiding officers, materials or INEC staffs at the supposed RACs when some of the Corpers arrived and others were told by officials at the RAC they weren’t informed by INEC that the centers will be used as RACs. This led to Youth Corpers and other Adhoc staff conveying at the INEC office for accurate information while the thugs began their act of violence. The violence started at about 5:00pm while the Adhoc staff where still waiting for INEC officials to provide RACs and give appropriate information about the election.
The vehicles provided to transport core members burnt by thugs
The thugs who were armed with guns, cutlasses and axes stood at the entrance of the INEC office awating sensitive materials to be brought over while they shoot frequently causing the youth corpers and other Adhoc staffs to be trapped in the INEC office. Eleven Buses provided to convey the core members to their respective RACs were seized and set ablazed by the thugs while the drivers were brutalized with cutlasses and axes.
Burnt Motorcycles at Ikot Ukpong In Obot Akara
Two individuals where killed in the electoral violence and two motorcycles burnt at Ikot Ukpong In Obot Akara LGA while the core members where left stranded at the INEC office all through the night with no mats, food, or place to sleep provided by the INEC officials present even while there where mats and fueled generators present at the INEC office.
Some core members whom we got in touch with disclosed to us that they received harsh treatment from the INEC staffs as mats were not given to them to lie making them lay on bike tops and partially cemented floors while the thugs shoot into the air and burnt vehicles with visible flames fuming in the sky.
The trapped core members reported that the hoodlums took to their heels when Army officers came into the scene, stating that “it would have been worse if the mobile police who scared the thugs away from entering the INEC office by shooting into the air before the soldiers came was not there as the single policeman present wore a sweatshirt to cover his uniform and lied down while shoots where been fired “