Large turnout, Late Arrival of materials, card-reader failure Mars Election
A Guardian survey around the state shows that voters complained of late arrival of materials, characterized by late coming of the INEC officials in various polling centers including Akogoli square 11, Umudioka Ward 111, Amawbia Cenral School ward 1 and 11, Umuokpu ward 7, Nmini Ward 11 Nwafia, Enugu-Ukwu ward 1V and V, and Boys Secondary School, Nri Ward1.
While monitoring the election process in the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra State, it was discovered that eligible voters gathered at the various polling booths as early as 8a.m on Saturday but could not do the accreditation process due to massive malfunctioning of the card reader.
Even it was also gathered that the machines were locked permanently, battery failure, etc, while INEC officials said they had already contacted headquarters in Awka for further instructions.
In most polling booths accreditation were not completed till 2pm, while actual voting started between 2.30 pm and 3.00 pm.
The Senatorial candidate for the PDP in Anambra Central, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife casted her votes about 3.30 pm at Boys Secondary School, Nri Ward 1 unit 002, while Sir Victor Umeh of APGA also vying for the same position voted at Aguluezigbo ward18 at 4 pm.
In his reaction, the Traditional Ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, HRM Igwe Sir Ralph O. Ekpe called for total rejection or cancellation of the election, just as he advised INEC to go back to the drawing board and reschedule the election. Igwe Ekpe strongly warned that INEC is courting trouble for Nigeria which may lead to another crisis.
“If INEC continues in this way with the card reader not functioning properly, late arrival of election materials etc, it will not augur well for the country and may lead to a serious set back in our political process.
“I aspect INEC to say let us suspend this election, let us return to the manual system and reschedule the election for the next one week”, Igwe Ekpe who was not happy for not been properly accredited said.
Also in his reaction, HRH Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo of Nawfia, however, praised INEC for introducing the manual system which according to him, worked peacefully in his community.
Igwe Nwakwo, who praised INEC for doing a good job hoped that the election would be credible and also usher peace in the country.
Meanwhile, some groups of youths were seen playing football in school fields and open spaces in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia across the state.
It was also gathered that all markets were shut, there was heavy vehicular and cyclists movements while few pedestrians were seen moving about.