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Suspected Boko Haram terrorists stormed Goza town in Goza Local Government Area of Borno State on Saturday, disrupting voting exercise and injuring some voters.
The insurgents were said to have fired gunshots from the top of the Mandara Mountains, during the presidential and National Assembly elections in Gwoza, located in the East of Maiduguri, the Borno capital.
According to the Emir of Goza, Mohammed Shehu Timta, who confirmed the attack, five persons were injured.
He said, “Boko Haram insurgents launched an attack into the heart of the town, shooting sporadically. Five people sustained injuries. The injured have been taken to Maiduguri for medical attention.
“They came around 8:30am, so voters had lined-up for accreditation when the incident occurred, many voters that scampered for safety have not returned while we are making efforts to convince them to return.”
Also confirming the incident, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, said during a briefing on Saturday in Abuja that no INEC facility was destroyed.
He equally confirmed that the injured persons were taken to a hospital where they are receiving medical attention.
Yakubu said, “The first one is the attack in Gwoza. Gwoza is in Borno State. I want to report that the military has confirmed that it was an 81-mm mortar attack on two facilities including a filling station near INEC office but no damage to INEC facilities and no casualties.
“Some people were injured and they are in the hospital. We wish them a speedy recovery but no destruction of INEC facilities and no disruption of the electoral process.”
The electoral chief also said some Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, the technology deployed for accreditation and electronic transmission of election results, were snatched by thugs who disrupted the electoral process in parts of the country like in Delta, Katsina, Anambra, amongst other places.
Prof. Yakubu, however, said INEC has “recovered from all these losses because we have contingency arrangements”.
Its was gathered that security agencies reinforced and chased the infiltrators as the DIG of police incharge of North East, who is from Goza, was at the scene and the situation was brought under control.
Goza is the hometown of senator, Ali Ndume, who is currently seeking reelection.
Accreditation and voting commenced around 08:30am in most of the 176,606 polling units scattered across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday as 87.2 million voters with Permanent Voter Cards go to the polls to elect a new president and members of the country’s National Assembly on Saturday.
Though 18 candidates are in the presidential race, pollsters and analysts have described the contest as a four-horse race between Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).