By Ibrahim Akawu

Niger State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Nasiru Ayilara

Niger State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Nasiru Ayilara

There was a mild incidence in Nasko town when the Divisional Police Officer, Aminu Bako, allegedly snatched four ballot boxes from Mangoro central polling unit, in Maji Ward of Magama Local Government area of Niger State.

According to eye witnesses, the DPO stormed the polling unit with his men, tear-gassed the people while voting was going on, and took away the ballot boxes.

In a press conference, the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Musa Ibeto, said the DPO came while people were voting and tear-gassed the place, and in the midst of the confusion took the boxes away.

An eye witness, Barr. Ibrahim Rege, confirmed in an interview with Newsline On Sunday that the DPO, after carting the boxes away, disappeared.

He said they have reported the matter to the area commander and the Niger State commissioner of police.

Ibrahim Rege, an APC starlwart, accused the DPO of being partisan, and called on INEC and the police to thoroughly investigate the matter, adding that on their part, they will insist that election be re-run in the said polling unit.

Speaking in a telephone interview with Newsline On Sunday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Shola Emmanuel Amore, stated that the reports were far from the truth.

He said the DPO was only doing his work of protecting lives and properties as enshrined in the Constitution of the land.

He said politicians are only out to blackmail the DPO, who was only trying to protect the properties of INEC and their staff who, some politicians were trying to attack while doing their job.

According to him, the politicians came to the polling unit to cause confusion, and the police officer has a duty to protect the INEC, its staff and their materials, adding that for them to allege that the DPO carted away the ballot boxes was blackmail orchestrated by the politicians.

 “My friend, don’t listen to politicians. They are only looking for somebody to blame for their own inefficiency. Please don’t listen to them. If you need further information, go to INEC office; you will get further information on what really happened in Nasko”, he told Newsline On Sunday.

At the time of filing in this report, our efforts to get further enlightenment on the issue from INEC spokesman in the state, Mohammed Madaki Wase,  proved abortive, as calls to his telephone number did not go through.