By John Onah, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed the waterway accident, when a boat carrying electoral materials and ad hoc staff of the Commission to riverine areas of Ilaje Local Government Area in the Ondo State governorship election capsized.
The INEC Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Nick Dazang, who confirmed this in a statement said that the officers of the Nigeria Navy were at hand to rescue the victims.
According to him, there was an incident last (Friday) night during the movement of personnel and materials to the riverine Registration Areas of Ilaje LGA of Ondo State for today’s governorship election.
“Fortunately, all personnel and election materials were rescued when the boat capsized. This was made possible by the officers and personnel of the Nigeria Navy who escorted the boats.
“The movement was eventually concluded and voting commenced as planned in all the polling units today. INEC commends the resilience and professionalism of the Nigerian Navy as well as those of all other personnel involved in the exercise,” Dazang said.
The wooden boat reportedly carrying no fewer than 15 persons capsized owing to overloading, with personnel and some election materials, apart from strong wave and current.
Some of the ad-hoc staff were seen in videos of the incident swimming to safety or to join other boats on the mission.
Local divers nearby were so said to made efforts to rescue the victims.
Speaking on the matter, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said that the commission got report of the incident and that there was no casualty as all the victims were rescued.
“I am told all our ad-Hoc staff were safely evacuated,” Oyekanmi said.