At about 11:20 a.m., the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, voted at his polling unit 010, Town School, Mbutu Ward, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, was accompanied to the polling unit by his wife, Ebere.
Addressing journalists after the couple cast their votes, Mr Ihedioha expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election up to that point.
He thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents for ensuring a peaceful atmosphere in the state.
“Across the state, the report I am getting is that Imolites have been voting for the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship and House of Assembly candidates across the different constituencies,” he said.
“The reports say that I am the popular choice of the people and it does appear to me that the people’s vote will count by the grace of God,’ the candidate said.
“I am very well impressed with the level of security provided up till this moment. It has been very reasonable and I hope they sustain it till the wee hours on Sunday.”
Mr Ihedioha, however, condemned reported violence in some parts of the state. He said he had little doubt that the security agents would curtail it.
“We are aware there were some issues of violence at Ngor-Okpalla, and Nwangele. But we believe the security agents and electoral officers will take appropriate steps. I believe the full weight of the law should be brought to bear on the persons who have masterminded these acts to hoodwink the people and jeopardise the electoral process.
“Specifically, we all saw what happened two weeks ago in Imo West and the position INEC took on electoral violence. So I believe that people should advise themselves.
“INEC has done a credible job. I commend such heroes like Prof. Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, the electoral commissioner in the state. He has been wonderful. I haven’t gotten bad reports about them and I hope they will be able to sustain this till the end,” he said.
Mr Ihedioha said he is sure the people would protect their votes and ensure a peaceful change of government.
“I am going to win by His grace of God. All that we have to do is to be vigilant and be watchful because, you know, the night marauders like operating at the wee hours. So we have to keep our eyes open. And I am sure we will protect our votes this time.”
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