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Elections shift: INEC orders withdrawal of sensitive election materials

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Godsgift Onyedinefu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Kogi said it had started withdrawing all sensitive election materials earlier issued out for the conduct of the presidential and national assembly elections.

INEC director of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, Ahmed Biambo, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja on Saturday said that the materials were being returned back to all the local government offices of the commission.

He said that further directive was being awaited on whether to return the sensitive materials to the Central Bank of Nigeria or to the police armoury for safe keeping.

According to him, the office has also ordered immediate transportation of all ad hoc staff, especially youth corps members back to their bases.

He admitted that the office did not receive ballot papers for the Kogi East senatorial election until about 2am when the election was suddenly postponed.

A correspondent of NAN who was at the state INEC office in Lokoja reported that all was calm with few staff members at their duty posts.

Armed policemen and operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps we’re seen manning strategic positions in and around the office.

Also, the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, has urged residents to resume their normal activities following the postponement of the elections.

Mr Busari who briefed the media after a review meeting on situation with other security agencies, said that security was being beefed up around sensitive election materials in all parts of the state.

He said that comprehensive security measures were in place to protect life and property, saying that the force will not condone any break down of security under whatever guise.

According to him, security forces will continue to patrol major streets and carry out show of force to deter hoodlums and their sponsors.

Mr Busari confirmed that some people considered to be threat to free conduct of the elections were arrested in different parts of the state.

The commissioner who did not give exact number of people arrested, said that some of them had been set free after being made to sign letters if undertaking to be of good conduct while the remaining were still undergoing screening.

Meanwhile, Lokoja, the Kogi State capital remained calm with majority of the residents still indoors.

Many of the business premises remain closed while few residents were seen on the virtually empty roads in the city.

Few private and commercial vehicles and motorcycles were also seeing plying the roads.


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