By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
A fight broke out as early as 7:48 a.m. on Election Day at the INEC Registration Area Centre at Mbiaso Ward 4, Unit 1, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, when a man snatched a ballot box from an election official and smashed it on the ground.
A civil servant who filmed the incident was harassed by other party supporters who threatened to slap her.
Witnesses said the man who snatched the ballot box was a PDP thug and the people who harassed the civil servant were supporters of the party. However, PREMIUM TIMES could not establish these as of the time of this report.
Trouble started when the thug reportedly walked into the hall where the election officials were sorting voting materials for distribution to the polling units around. He allegedly demanded to inspect the materials.
“He (the thug) entered the hall where they were sieving materials, he said they should show (him the voting materials). Those people asked him which ward are you, that they are moving (materials) to the units. When they go there the (party) agents involved would check as they want to limit the time they would spend here. So he started trouble inside the hall,” a resident of the community, who witnessed the incident, said
“Immediately the INEC guy carried the ballot box, with the NYSC member, to a place they will do the election, the guy (thug) came, scattered the box and slapped the APC agent in the unit.”
The situation degenerated into a fight between the supporters of the PDP and the APC.
“One person had a cut on his finger when the man (PDP thug) slammed a car door against him,” the witness said.
He said security officials at the centre stood by and watched what was going on, without intervening.
Nsit Ibom, the local government area where the incident happened, is considered a stronghold for the APC because the party's governorship candidate is from there.