LIVE: Bracing insecurity, Anambra voters decide guber race for Soludo, Uba, Ozigbo, others
Under the spectre of secessionist turbulence and federal military incursion, voters in Anambra are heading to the polls this morning to elect the next governor that will pilot the state for the next four years.
Electoral office, INEC, says 2,525,471 residents have collected their voting credentials and are ready to exercise their franchise from 8:30 a.m. when the poll opens until 2:30 p.m. when ballot areas would be shut to introduce the counting phase.
Eighteen political parties are participating in the governorship election this year as Governor Willie Obiano wraps up his two terms of four year each in March 2022.
The five major candidates are Charles Soludo, All Progressives Grand Alliance; Valentine Ozigbo, Peoples Democratic Party; Andy Uba, All Progressives Congress; Ifeanyi Ubah, Young Progressives Party; and Godwin Maduka, Accord Party. The Biafra separatist crisis is expected to prove pivotal as to whose favour the election will swing, but the ongoing military campaign across the state could also favour some candidates, especially Mr Uba whose ruling APC controls the federal security framework.
Mr Soludo has the support of incumbent Mr Obiano and the popularity of APGA in Anambra; while Mr Ubah’s YPP is also expected to have a good showing on the back of his steep war chest.
Peoples Gazette, in partnership with CLEEN Foundation, will report developments across the 21 local government areas of the state throughout the day. New updates will refresh automatically.
INEC has just issued a statement extending the time for the election. It will now end by 4:00 p.m. as against 2:30 p.m. previously scheduled.
Here’s the full statement from Anambra resident electoral commissioner on the development.
TEXT OF A PRESS STATEMENT BY THE RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER, ANAMBRA STATE ON OPENING AND CLOSING OF POLLS FOR THE ANAMBRA STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION, SATURDAY 6TH NOVEMBER 2021*
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the period for opening and closing of Poll from 8.30am to 4.00pm. This revised closing time applies to areas where Polling Units opened after the commencement period of 8.30am. In line with existing regulations and guidelines of the Commission, any intending voter who is on the queue by 4.00 pm shall be allowed to vote. All Polling Unit staff must comply with this directive.
The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation. The Commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices, Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others. In some of the cases, it would seem that this resulted from software glitches. Our technicians have already built an update to the devise software to prevent further challenges. The update is currently being installed in the concerned BVAS and we request voters, candidates and agents to be patient and allow our technical staff to solve the problem.
The Commission wishes to reiterate that in cases of sustained malfunction of the BVAS, the Presiding Officer must inform the voters and polling agents that accreditation and voting for the affected Polling Unit shall continue tomorrow or at another time determined by the Commission. With this extension of time and the recommencement of accreditation where the BVAS consistently malfunctions, the Commission assures that no voter will be disenfranchised.
Our deployment has also been adversely affected by transportation challenges in some locations. It must be noted that on account of security concerns, some of the transporters that were mobilized and collected 50% of their sign on fee backed out at the last moment, leaving some of our ad-hoc staff stranded. Also, some of the trained ad-hoc staff backed out at the last moment. The Commission is on top of these challenges and extant regulations and guidelines will be applied on a case by case bases. Consequently, we are harvesting areas where voting will realistically no longer take place today, including places where substantial disruption has occurred, to enable a possible recommencement of voting at another time, in line with extant laws and the regulations and guidelines of the Commission.
We appeal to all voters, candidates, stakeholders communities and political parties to remain calm and law abiding. We assure you that the Commission is determined to a make all votes count.
3:00 p.m.: Election is still ongoing at Polling Unit 002, Ofiyi Square Isuofia Ward in Aguata LGA as hundreds of voters are yet to cast their votes.
2:00 p.m.: There are reports of vote buying at Polling Unit 006, Ojoto I Ward in Idemili South LGA at the rate of N3,000 per voter.
At 2:44 p.m., voting just commenced at Polling Unit 006, 04/Amansea Ward in Awka North LGA.
2:25 p.m.: Election materials are yet to arrive at Polling Unit 007, 04/Amansea Ward in Awka South LGA.
2:33 p.m.: Vote counting about to commence at Polling Unit 008, Ichekeoku II, Abagana I Ward in Njikoku LGA.
1:50 p.m.: Voting is still in progress at Polling Unit 001, Isuofia 1 Ward in Aguata LGA. However, the BVAS machine continues to malfunction.
2:20 p.m.: Voting has been cancelled at Ward Oba I & II in Idemili South LGA.
INEC onsite officials have been instructed to turn in voting materials and sign off.
1:02 p.m.: It was a rowdy scene at Polling Unit 017, Ward 015 in Ogbaru LGA, where another case of vote buying was reported, with voters offered N2,000 each.
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