Three top contenders in the yet-to-be concluded Anambra State governorship election, which commenced on Saturday, have won their respective polling units. This was prior to the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission that voting would continue on Sunday (today).

The extension was due to the malfunctioning of the newly deployed Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, which disrupted accreditation and voting in some areas, the commission said.

The top contenders were the candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chukwuma Soludo; All Progressives Congress, Andy Uba; and Peoples Democratic Party, Valentine Ozigbo.

The APC candidate, who voted at Saint Peter’s Catholic School, Uga Ward 16, Polling Unit 10 of Aguata Local Government, scored 80, followed by APGA with 10 votes, YPP scored five votes while PDP scored two votes.

The candidate of the PDP, who voted at polling unit 010 Social Center, Ward 005, of the Aguata Local Government, Area scored 75 votes, followed by APGA with eight votes while the APC scored two.

The candidate of APGA, who voted at Isuofia Ward 13, Unit 002 in the Aguata LGA, scored 126 votes while PDP scored five and both APC and YPP scored three votes each. Voter apathy, late arrival of materials, vote-buying mar polls

Meanwhile, the election was marred by voter apathy, vote-buying, late arrival of materials and the malfunction of the BVAS machine.


Despite the efforts by INEC to ensure a hitch-free exercise, there were several complaints from voters in towns like Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Isuofia and some other parts of the state.

Voting was expected to start by 8.30am but as of 11am voting was yet to commence in most centres in Awka, the state capital. With over two hours into the voting exercise, the people of Mgbakwu in Awka North were still awaiting voting materials, which later arrived after midday.

Party agents and voters waiting at Central School lamented the absence of materials and electoral officers. The school houses the two polling units in the town.

A party agent, Benneth Aniezeofor, lamented that the development would impact the exercise negatively as people might lose interest.

“Late arrival of materials will disenfranchise many voters and people may run out of patience and leave which is not good for the election,” he added.

Another resident said, “We called them and they told us the materials and polling officers were on the way. We also got the information that the vehicle being used to convey the material developed a fault in the way. One can only hope that the materials will arrive. We have to vote.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for INEC in the state, Reginald Onyeukwu, directed one of our correspondents to his superior.

He said, “I am far away at Aghamelum, please make a report to my HOD in the office, maybe there are some problems.”

Due to low voter turnout at Nkwo Market Square in Akwa Central, party agents were seen going from one house to another and calling family members and friends on the telephone to come out and vote.

One of the party agents, Joseph Nnake, attributed the apathy to fear, saying low voter turnout could mar the exercise. He also described the election as peaceful.


One of our correspondents observed vote-buying at the Nkwo Market Square. Voters were paid N2,500. After voting, the interested voters were ushered to a secluded room to collect the money. A police officer was also heard telling his junior colleague to collect their own share of the money from party agents.

At Ward 19, Unit 8 at the Ezenifite Town Hall, Okpuno in Awka South Local Government Area, voting finally commenced at about 9.35am.

The Registration Area Officer, Ibrahim Ganiyu, disclosed that they worked overnight at the centre to ensure that ad hoc staff moved to the field early on Saturday. He noted that corps members needed further guidance regarding the process.

Reports from other local government areas across the state indicated that voting did not commence at 8.30am. A 63-year-old woman, Madam Theresa, said she would wait till voting started.

“I am a native of Cross River State but my late husband hailed from this town. I came out to vote. I am not afraid of any kind of harassment or intimidation. Even if they shoot me, I will die and go to where my late husband is,” she said.

At Ward 9, Ezimezi in Amawbia, Awka South Local Government, a mild drama ensued as voters protested  the instruction by the presiding officer, Ahmed Abdulahi, who said ‘No facemask, no voting’.

Irked by the order, a former Anambra State House of Assembly member, Chikodi Aghanya, described the instruction as “rubbish”.

A presiding officer however explained that it was INEC’s instruction and they would implement it, while admitting that they were having challenges with the network to operate.

Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano and his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, hailed the process, describing it as transparent.

The governor, who has cast his ballot at Eri Primary School, Unit 004, Otuocha 1, Aguleri, Anambra East LGA of the state said, “I appeal to Ndi Anambra to come out and vote as the voting exercise would last for only a few hours. I commend the voting process, it was fast and easy. I am optimistic that the entire exercise would be free and fair across the state.”

Source: Punch Newspapers

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