From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
A presiding officer during last Saturday’s local government election in Nasarawa state, Paul Ogazi, 35, has said that election did not actually take place in his polling unit, Angwan Tsira, in Kofan Gwari electoral ward of Kokona local government area.
In an exclusive chat with this reporter at the weekend, Ogazi alleged that two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts, Hon. Lo Glabe and Obadiah Ondo, approached him shortly after the completion of the accreditation exercise, and after attempting to bribe him, forcefully seized the election materials from him, ordering their thugs to beat him up.
Ogazi, who refused to accept the bribe, was however informed by his assailants of a tradition in the polling unit, indicating that voting hardly takes place there and that all they require of the presiding officer was for him to handover to them the ballot papers in his possession for them to thump print.
Following his refusal to do as required by the PDP stalwarts, Ogazi alleged they instructed their thugs to beat him up.
He narrated that soldiers escorted the electoral officers to Angwan Tsira, and that the accreditation exercise showed that out of the 753 registered voters in the polling unit, only 182 turned up for the exercise.
But just as actual voting was about to commence, the two PDP henchmen appeared to disrupt the exercise, beating up the presiding officer and taking possession of the ballot papers which they allegedly thump printed with the result submitted at the electoral ward.
“They ordered their boys to beat me up and I cried that they should spare my life. They ordered me to leave the place and I ran into the bush”, Ogazi told our reporter.
He further alleged that even after he took to the bush, some of the PDP thugs pursued him into the bush where they caught up with him in a valley, after which they gave him more beating, from where he sustained injuries on his leg.