- Ballot box snatcher shot dead
- PDP in early lead
CHRIS NJOKU, OWERRI
The People’s Democratic Party agents raised the alarm when they discovered in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area in Imo State that 80 ballot papers were missing in each of the 15 polling booths in the council area.
The election which started as early as 8am in some wards, recorded some delay in many of the polling booths across the state.
At Isiala Mbano LGA, election material did not leave the area until after 10am. The delay arose when the agent of PDP Kelechi Chukwuonye discovered that the ballot papers for each of the 15 polling booth was short by 80.
“Instead of 1280 ballot papers the Polling Officer declared 1200,” he said.
He held all the vehicles and electoral officers including security agencies hostage saying that the the electoral officers must explain the shortage before vehicles would leave the collation centres to the polling units.
He accused the polling officer to be responsible for the rerun election at the local government because she failed to record properly the results PDP scored in the presidential and National Assembly elections which
eventually led to the cancellation of National Assembly election. It took the intervention of the DPO, Daniel Nwulu and the head of the NSCDC CN Odimba to bring the polling officer to agree to report the shortage to INEC or base the election on the number of PVC available on the voter’s register.
In some areas there were attempts to snatch the ballot boxes. At Ikeduru, a female youth corner who was the presiding officer was apprehended when she attempted to escape with ballot papers through the window.
At Umudi in Isiala Mbano LGA, two armed hoodlums who attempted to snatch the ballot boxes were shot leaving one dead.
The election though relatively peaceful recorded heavy vote buying. In Okigwe South there was vote buying by various parties.
Mbaise witnessed heavy military presence but that did not prevent voting buying in the area.
Ngor Okpala LGA was some sort of war in vote buying with some areas without security presence.
However, the governorship candidates were happy of the conduct of the election as many places across the state were peace.
The governorship candidate of Accord Party. Ikedi Ohakim said the problem of election in Nigeria has always been the academia.
While voting in his ward, he commended INEC for their improvement from the previous presidential election,adding that problem had always been collation centres.
For Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of APGA the commission performance was commendable, adding that he was sure of winning if the commission maintain such neutrality.
Uche Nwosu commended the commission and the security agencies but regretted the death of the youth that was shot dead for attempting to snatch the ballot box.