Vigilant security operatives successfully thwarted an audacious attempt by political thugs to kidnap Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and make off with crucial election materials.l in Imo State.
The incident took place at a Registration Area Centre in Amaimo, situated in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State.
Eyewitnesses at the scene recounted the unfolding events as the thugs tried to forcibly seize INEC officials. Swift action by the deployed security personnel prevented the abductors from succeeding in their nefarious plans.
According to an anonymous eyewitness, when local voters raised the alarm upon spotting the intruders, the armed security operatives fired warning shots into the air, compelling the thugs to retreat hastily into their vehicle, which then sped away from the scene.
A Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) officer present during the incident shed further light on the situation.
He explained, “The thugs were coming to hijack the INEC officials and election materials. But luck ran out on them when some people started shouting during a stampede caused by fear. It was their shouting that alerted the armed security personnel, who quickly shot into the air, forcing the thugs to take to their heels.”
The incident underscores the intense security measures put in place during the Imo State election. In the state capital, Owerri, and its surrounding areas, heavily armed security forces established checkpoints at key locations, with operations beginning as early as 6 a.m.
The armed soldiers stationed at various entry points into the city diligently stopped and inspected vehicles, as well as questioned drivers and passengers before permitting them to proceed.
Furthermore, the polling units in Isu Njaba demonstrated a high level of preparedness, as both election materials and INEC officials were present and ready by 8 a.m.
This resulted in the timely commencement of voter accreditation at approximately 8:30 a.m. in the area, ensuring the election proceeded smoothly amidst heightened security concerns.
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