Some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) workers have expressed their wish to be transferred out of Rivers state because to the outbreak of violence during elections in the state.
According to Punch, some of the workers expressed concerns for their lives and safety, adding that they are gripped with fear when election approaches.
One of the workers, identified simply as Cordelia, reportedly said the workers panic heightened after Amakiri Ibisaki, an ad hoc staff, was shot dead while returning from election duty during the February 23 presidential poll.
On March 10, INEC suspended all electoral processes in the state as a result of violence and widespread disruption of collation of results.
“Majority of us are considering applying for transfer from Rivers State to any other state close to it. This is because of violence. For the past four to five years now, every election in the state has been marred by violence,” Cordelia was quoted to have said.
“It is not like that in other neighbouring states. Remember that an INEC ad hoc worker lost her life. We learnt that she was shot by a soldier. We are afraid and that is why some of us may begin to seek transfer soon.”
Another employee who sought anonymity said they are manipulated by politicians, thugs and security agents, adding that they may not participate in the 2023 elections.
“I don’t think some of us can be part of the conduct of another election in 2023. The level of violence in the state during election is disturbing,” she said.
“We are INEC staff, but politicians, security agents and thugs intimidate us during election period.”
Ekelemu Geraldine, INEC public affairs officer in the state, however, said she was not aware of the move.
“I’m not aware of that and besides, it will be in their personal files and we do not have access to people’s personal files. If there is any such, I am not aware,” she told TheCable.
INEC has scheduled for April 13 for the supplementary governorship election in Rivers.