Vote buying, intimidation of voters, journalists mar Kauru State Assembly supplementary polls [Punch]

By Israel Bulus, Kaduna
The supplementary election held in the Khuta Polling Unit of Kwasam Ward in Kauri/Chawai Local Government Area for Kaduna State House of Assembly on Saturday was marred by vote buying and intimidation of voters and journalists by thugs.
The election was declared inconclusive by INEC on March 18, 2023.
However, the PDP Local Government Collation Officer, Simon Arabo, who refused to sign the result, described it as daylight robbery.
The PUNCH reports that in the Kahuta Polling Unit which had 995 registered voters in the two wards where the supplementary elections were conducted, the election was marred by voting buying and voter intimidation by thugs who intermittently, chased away voters while queuing to vote as well as attacking some journalists who were monitoring the elections.
Some voters who attempted to run to their homes were not so lucky enough as the thugs who were wielding dangerous weapons such as sticks, knives and cudgels, also followed and beat them up, thereby disenfranchising most of them. The police used tear gas canisters to disperse the invading thugs.
Our correspondent gathered that the thugs were allegedly brought on Friday night in two Sharon vehicles with the aim to disrupt the conduct of the election.
Some of the military officials who were deployed to restore sanity on the premises and ensure the peaceful conduct of the election was later withdrawn.
Immediately after the military men left the scene, thugs returned to the venue wielding sophisticated weapons while the police looked helplessly.
He expressed gratitude for the party to have given him the chance to fly the party’s ticket in the 2023 House of Assembly in the local government and called on all party supporters to remain calm.


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