Aggrieved members of the Labour Party (LP), and All Progressive Party (APC) staged a massive protest against the local government, LG council elections in Edo state.
It was gathered that voting could not commence as scheduled due to the late arrival of materials at several polling units.
Accounts from eyewitnesses revealed that voters were seen in queues as early as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, ready to vote; however, voting didn’t commence in most units until noon.
While voting started at Unit 7 Ward 4, Egor LGA, at about 10:30 a.m., materials arrived at some units a few minutes before 10:00 a.m. within the Benin metropolis.
INFORMATION NIGERIA reports that supporters of the LP chairmanship candidate of Oredo local government, Daniel-Ero Onaghise, stormed the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state to request a nullification of the polls.
According to Vanguard report, Onaghise, during the protest, said: “I want to express my displeasure on this exercise.
“We had a series of stakeholders’ meetings; at a point, they said BIVAS and card readers would be used, but towards the election, they jettisoned that, they said there would be restrictions on movements, but two days before the election, the governor announced that there will not be restriction of movement so at that point, we started suspecting, but EDSIEC assured that everything will be fine.
“Today, it took more than six hours for materials to arrive, and EDSIEC staff were not seen. I am the LP candidate for Oredo, but as I speak to you, I can’t vote because there are no materials people have been waiting for since 7 o’clock.
“I discredit the process, and I call for the cancellation of the exercise, it is so painful that I have not been able to vote for myself.”
Also reacting to the polls, the state chairman of the APC, Col (Dr) David Imuse (rtd), said, “This election is a scam, it is a charade, they brought insufficient ballot papers but no single result sheets how can you conduct an election when there is no result sheet? It is happening in the entire Edo Central senatorial district I am calling from Ekpoma; the same thing is happening in Esan North East, Esan West everywhere here; no result sheets, and I don’t see how an election can take place without result sheets.”
Meanwhile, the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, who voted in his polling unit at Emokpae Primary School, applauded the exercise while believing that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would carry the day because “PDP fully mobilised in most of the state.”
He said: “The turnout was very impressive in spite of the rain. There was quite a considerable turnout, and it showed interest in the local government election. This means that the political parties did well by going around sensitizing and mobilizing the electorates and the people.
“The process has been smooth and peaceful as a lot of people are still hanging around to see the end and conclusion of voting. I am very impressed by what has happened as the organisation by EDSIEC has gone fairly well. You have so many people still here at almost the closing of the poll, which shows that we have a fairly decent turnout.
“I have been getting updates from across the State, and this seems to be the trend all over. I have not received any report of violence yet, and pray everything goes smoothly.”