Fifty youngsters suspected to be political thugs have been arrested by security agents in Ulakwo Ward 13 in Etche local council area of Rivers State.
The suspects were arrested from different units of the ward for allegedly trying to disrupt the legislative election in the council area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the boys were seen sitting on the ground on Saturday, surrounded by some military and policemen.
Reacting to the incident, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in charge of Rivers, Mr Ikoiwak Aniedi urged the media to focus more on electoral violence in Nigeria.
He said that while the Commission was saddled with the responsibility of conducting elections, the issue of electoral violence should equally be considered.
Aniedi stressed the need for journalists to report exactly what they witnessed during elections.
This, he noted would go a long in checking some of the violence perpetrated during elections.
He, however, said that the police would brief the commission officially on the arrests.
At Obite Ward 10, Unit 3, the attempt of some political thugs to snatch a bag of electoral materials from INEC officials was repelled by the police.
The electoral official, who declined to disclose her name, informed NAN that the election was peaceful in the unit except for the incident.
She said that when the result was about to be counted, “we saw some thugs rushing on us, we quickly packed all the materials in a bag’’.
“But they tried to snatch the bag with us and took it; fortunately, the police intervened and retrieved the bag from them, gave it back to us and escorted us to INEC office in the area.’’
The Police Spokesman in Rivers, DSP Nnamdi Omoni said that the police have not made any arrest yet, and so could not comment on what other security agents had done.
The election is the conclusion of the 2015 general elections to fill up Etche state Constituency II and Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency seats.
Elections into the legislative seats were postponed indefinitely following the violence that broke out during the general elections in the area in 2015.
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Ese E. Ekama