At about 11:20 a.m. at polling unit 6, Ukan Ward 1, Edemaya, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, two soldiers were seen persuading voters to be of orderly conduct and get into the voting line.
Unlike in other places visited by this reporter, the army parked their truck quite close to the polling unit and occasionally worked around to see to it that the voters were not unruly.
The voting line in the unit was so long, the longest seen in the state so far by this reporter.
Some voters, who were not in the voting line, were seen hanging around in large numbers, hoping the queue would shorten.
There are 1,366 voters in the unit, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) said Ukan needed six additional polling units.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area, Emmanuel Umana, said the election in the unit was relatively peaceful, compared to the presidential and National Assembly elections.
“What happened here in the last elections was different; some hoodlums came here midway into the elections and disrupted voting,” Mr Umana, a legal practitioner, said.
“Today’s election is going on smoothly, and we pray it should be smooth like this till the end.
“So far, the presence of the soldiers has helped in maintaining peace in the unit,” Mr Umana said.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the polling unit, Edidiong Ubeh, corroborated Mr Umana’s remark that the soldiers have been helpful in maintaining peace at the polling unit.
“It has been very peaceful here,” Mr Ubeh said. “The soldiers are not interfering in the elections.”
Nsima Ekere, the APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, is from the local government area.