Three of the leading candidates in the still- unfinished Anambra State governorship election, which began on Saturday, have won their polling units.
This was before the Independent National Electoral Commission announced that voting would resume on Sunday (today).
The commission stated the delay was necessary because the newly implemented Bimodal Voter Accreditation System malfunctioned, causing accreditation and voting to be disrupted in some locations.
Top Candidates Win Their Respective Polling Units
Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress, and Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party were the front- runners.
The APC candidate received 80 votes from voters at Saint Peter’ s Catholic School in Uga Ward 16, Polling Unit 10 of Aguata Local Government, followed by APGA with 10 votes, YPP with five votes, and PDP with two votes.
The PDP candidate received 75 votes in polling unit 010 Social Center, Ward 005 of the Aguata Local Government Area, followed by the APGA with eight votes and the APC with two votes.
APGA’ s candidate received 126 votes in Isuofia Ward 13, Unit 002 in the Aguata LGA, while PDP received five votes and both APC and YPP received three votes apiece.
Meanwhile, voter apathy, vote- buying, late delivery of materials, and a BVAS machine malfunction hampered the election.
Voters Express Dissatisfaction In The Poll
Despite INEC’ s attempts to ensure a smooth election, voters in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Isuofia, and other sections of the state have expressed their dissatisfaction.
Voting was scheduled to begin at 8. 30 a. m. , but as of 11 a. m. , most polling stations in Awka, the state capital, had yet to open. The people of Mgbakwu in Awka North were still waiting for voting materials more than two hours into the election, which arrived after lunchtime.
The lack of materials and electoral officers was noted by party agents and voters queuing at Central School. The school is home to the town’ s two polling stations.
Benneth Aniezeofor, a party agent, expressed concern that the development would have a detrimental impact on the exercise because people would lose interest.
” Late delivery of documents will disenfranchise many voters, and individuals may lose patience and leave, which will be detrimental to the election, ” he added.
” We called them, and they stated the materials and polling officers were on their way, ” another homeowner added. We also learned that the vehicle being used to transport the materials had developed a defect along the way. Only hope remains for the materials to come. We have to cast our ballots. ”
When approached, Reginald Onyeukwu, the state spokesperson for INEC, sent one of our correspondents to his supervisor.
” I am far away at Aghamelum, ” he explained, ” therefore please submit a report to my HOD in the office, there may be some problems. ”
Low Turnout In The Election
Due to low voter turnout in Akwa Central’ s Nkwo Market Square, party operatives were observed walking from home to house, calling family members and friends to come out and vote.
Joseph Nnake, one of the party’ s agents, blamed the apathy on fear, warning that poor voter participation could jeopardize the election. He also called the election a ” calm” event.
At the Nkwo Market Square, one of our correspondents witnessed vote- buying. N2, 500 was paid to each voter. Following the vote, interested voters were escorted to a private room where they could receive their winnings. A police officer was also overheard asking his junior colleague to go to the party agents and collect their own share of the money.
At around 9. 35 a. m. , voting began at Ward 19, Unit 8 at the Ezenifite Town Hall in Okpuno, Awka South Local Government Area.
Ibrahim Ganiyu, the Registration Area Officer, said they worked overnight at the center to guarantee that ad hoc workers arrived on the field early on Saturday. He mentioned that corps members required more information about the process.
Deputy Governor Explains Why He Displayed His Ballot Paper
The deputy governor, who had switched from APGA to APC just weeks before the election, showed his voting paper to other electors before dropping it in the ballot box.
Okeke stated he voted in Ward 3, polling unit 005, Umueze Awozu, Enugwu- Ukwu, to disprove rumors that he had rejoined the APGA. He praised INEC for using cutting- edge technology for the exercise.
” I had to reveal my voting paper because there were rumors that I had defected back to APGA, which is not true, ” he explained. He continued, ” You just saw that I voted for my party, the APC. ”
” I’ m blown away by the turnout. The procedure was open and transparent. The federal government deserves credit for creating an enabling climate. The presence of security personnel encouraged individuals to cast their ballots.
APC Candidate Also Speaks
Meanwhile, APC candidate Andy Uba, speaking at Otiogba Centre, Ugah Ward 1 voting unit 015, 021, 022, expressed optimism that he would win despite the party’ s defections prior to the election.
” I voted without any problems, ” he added. In my polling unit, the BVAS is operational, and I am certain that INEC is working to resolve the issues that have been identified. ”
PDP Candidates Advocated For Extension
Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, a PDP candidate, has advocated for an extension of voting hours to ensure that no qualified voter is denied the right to vote.
” I call on INEC to extend voting hours to allow qualified voters to cast their ballots, ” he stated, ” since the delay is not their fault, but rather the result of a malfunctioning BVAS. ”
APGA Confidence Of Victory
APGA’ s candidate, Charles Soludo, also stated that his party would win the election if it was free, fair, and credible. However, the BVAS in his polling unit failed, producing an hours- long delay.