A National Youth Service Corps member reads polling information on a poster at one of the polling units in Lagos on March 9, 2019. – Nigerians are voting for a second time in a fortnight in governorship and state assembly elections, with heightened concerns from observers of violence and an increased military presence. Elections for governors are being held in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, for all state assemblies, plus the administrative councils in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ogun State, Ganiu Raji, has raised an alarm that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are being held hostage in one of the local government areas of the state.

Raji made this known on Sunday during the ongoing results’ announcement at the commission’s headquarters in Magbon area of the state. He, however, did not mention the name of the affected local government, just as he appealed for peace as the results come in.

He said there was a need for party officials to exhibit decorum. He said any party that has issues with the results should approach the tribunal rather than subjecting the electoral officials to inhuman treatment after the results must have been announced at the collation centre.

“Let us allow peace to reign. Party agents and leaders, as well as media should know that cancellation of results cannot, will not be done here, but to collate results.

“Results of voting are done at polling unit level, collation and entering of results done at polling unit level. So any party that has issues should have done that, at the polling units level’.

“The second level is collation centres. If you have any issues with any results go to tribunal, we can only make available required documents needed, it is now left for the tribunal to judge. Am appealing that let us allow peace to reign. Party agents should pass the message to their leaders. It is more dignifying to go to tribunal rather than subjecting our officials to mental torture.”

He expressed optimism that the officials held hostage would regain their freedom before the end of the day, as the commission awaits the return of both officials and election results.

Ogun is witnessing a close contest between the ruling party, APC, and the party supported by the incumbent governor, APM. Although Governor Ibikunle Amosun won his senatorial election a fortnight ago on the APC platforms, he supported APM candidates for Saturday’s election.

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