The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed on Sunday that several of its officials deployed for election duty are currently being held hostage in the Brass Local Government Area (LGA) of Bayelsa State. The electoral body made this concerning revelation in an official statement released on X.
Hostage Situation in Brass LGA: INEC’s Cautious Observations
In the statement, INEC expressed its deep concern, stating, “The Commission is closely watching the situation in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State where our officials are held hostage.” The gravity of the situation raises alarms, particularly in the context of ensuring the credibility of elections.
INEC Condemns the Act: A Blow to Credible Elections
INEC did not mince words in condemning the action, emphasizing that such actions are “detrimental to credible elections.” The commission strongly called on security agencies, including the police, to swiftly intervene and ensure the safe rescue of the electoral officers currently held against their will.
Urgent Plea for Action: Security Agencies Called to Action
Expressing the urgency of the matter, the commission further urged security agencies to take immediate and decisive steps to secure the release of its officials. The plea underscores the critical role security forces play in upholding the integrity of the electoral process.
Protests Over Alleged Manipulation: Unrest in Bayelsa State
Earlier on Sunday, Naija News reported protests by some commissioners and lawmakers in Bayelsa State. The protests were fueled by allegations of result manipulation as the collation of results from the November 11, 2023 election commenced. Protesters claimed that elections were not conducted in the Nembe area of the state.
In the face of these developments, INEC’s call for swift action from security agencies is a pivotal step towards resolving the crisis and restoring confidence in the electoral process.