As the Edo State gubernatorial election gets underway, the late arrivals of official, low voters turnout, faulty card readers and no adherence to COVID 19 have been observed in parts of the state.
Analysts say the governorship election is principally between the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is seeking election and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fourteen political parties have presented candidates.
PREMIUM TIMES observed that late commencement of election, low voters turnout, faulty card readers may likely jeopardise the election process.
Although the INEC said the election should commence by 8:30 a.m., however, this paper noticed that some of polling units are yet to commence voting.
As of 9:18 a.m., voting has not started at Uhunmwonde, PU 1, Ward 2. Also, Etsako East Local Government Ward 1 (Agenebode) PU 4 (Upland waterworks) is yet to commence voting as at 9:08 a.m. The electoral officers said they had a delay due to stalled vehicular movement from the RAC
Although there was a massive turnout of voters in Ward 4, PU14, Esan West local government, voting has not commenced as of 9:10 p.m.
The election also recorded low turnout in PU 001, 002, 003, Evbobemwem primary school, Iyoba Ward, Orhionmwon LGA which is the local government of Mr Ize Iyamu.
PU 003, Ihumudumu Primary School III in Esan west local government also witnessed
Faulty card readers
It was observed that the card readers at PU 003 (Ogiyan Primary School, Utesse), of Ward 03 (Uhen) in Ovia North-East were not authenticating cards and accreditation is being done manually to the displeasure of voters and party agents.
APO III informed party agents that new SCR should be available in 20-30 minutes.
Also, the card reader is faulty in polling unit 10 Ward 5 Owan East local government. Also, as of 10:04 a.m., voting had commenced at Onewa Primary School, Amedokhian ward in Esan North-East local government. The ward has two polling units (001, 002) but the card reader for polling unit 001 is not working.
It was also observed that as of 10:42 a.m., the card reader in PU 03, ward 04, oke-Irhue, Uhumwonde local government is not working.
However, some of the polling units have started the process. For example, polling unit 13, ward 7 in Ughioli Primary School, Aviele, Estako West LGA started voting as at 9:15 a.m.
There are 2,210,534 registered to vote in the state, but only 1,726,738 of them who have collected their permanent voters’ cards (PVC) and are thus eligible to vote in today’s election.
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