Unidentified thugs allegedly manhandled an INEC staff snatching result sheet from him in Obot Akara local council in one of the rare negative incidents in Saturday’s House of Assembly re-run election in some parts of Akwa Ibom.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in charge of Akwa Ibom Dr Gabriel Ada, who made this known to newsmen in Ibesikpo Asutan local council, said:
“The election as at now has been peaceful but there were reported pockets of violence in some units in Obot Akara Local Government Area where an INEC staff was beaten and result booklet snatched from him.”
But he expressed satisfaction with the turnout of voters which he said was more than 90 per cent as at mid day assuring that with the level of logistics in place the commission would not expect many challenges.
Meanwhile, election commenced in most the areas slated for the re-run with only few units in Ibesikpo Asutan witnessing late arrival of materials.
At Ibesikpo Asutan, the immediate past Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Aniekan Uko, assured that his re-run election to return to the House was not to fight the constitutionally elected speaker.
Uko said he was well educated on the constitution process of electing speaker of the state legislature and would do nothing to violet such laid down process.
Speaking shortly after casting his vote at Ibesikpo ward 1, Unit 10 , Uko said he enjoyed the support and cooperation of all as a Speaker and pledged to do same to the incumbent Speaker, Onofiok Luke, whom he considered a brother, friend and colleague.
“Why would I fight the Speaker? Nobody fought me as a speaker. There are processes on how the Speaker emerges. The speaker does not owe me, he is my colleague, brother and friend,” he said.
Uko, who said he surrendered completely to the position of the Appeal Court, which set aside his election, wished it were possible for INEC to mount cameras at all the polling units to give evidence of the transparent nature of the rerun, in case his opponent would want to go to court after the election.
The former Speaker, who applauded INEC for ensuring that election materials arrived on time, said he went round the wards and pulling units in the area to sue for peaceful coexistence before the election, and therefore expressed optimism that his people will exercise their civic responsibilities in a peaceful and decent manner during the elections.
In Etinan Local Government Area, the APC House of Assembly candidate, Unyime Ekwere complained that an APC agent was severely beaten and bundled out to an unknown destination by suspected PDP thugs at Ikot Nseyen Unit 3, ward 4, for protesting against PDP attempt to snatch materials.
Also in an interview, his PDP counterpart Barr Dennis Akpan expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the polls and called for unity among the people of the area irrespective of party affiliation.

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