Late arrival of INEC officials, materials mar elections in many states

The Presidential and National Assembly elections in many parts of the country have been marred by late arrival of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as election material.

Reports coming from some states including Imo, Abia,  Nasarawa and Lagos show that long after the 8am commencement of voting, election officials and materials had not arrived in these states.

In Lagos, voting was delayed in Elizabeth Fowler School at ward 014, ward G2, Adeniran Ogunsanya units, Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State, due to the late arrival of election materials.

There was a significant turnout of voters in spite of the delay in the arrival of election materials.

A cleric, Biodun Adeyanju, who resides in the area, expressed disappointment on the late arrival of INEC officials and election materials.

He, however, attributed the delay to human error, which, he said, should be pardoned.

“In life, we are bound to make mistakes. I hope every voter will be given the opportunity to exercise his or her civic right,’’ he said.

Adeyanju, who was optimistic on the success of the exercise, noted that the process appeared free and fair.

An octogenarian, and one of the oldest residents in the community, Mrs Shade Edun, said she was excited coming out to exercise her civic right.

“I have to come out to exercise my civil right because many Nigerians are suffering and we want a change, proper change not mouth change.

“INEC did not come in time, as it was advertised in the media, which will definitely delay the voting process.

“My expectation after the election is to see better changes,” she said.

A 19 year old first time voter, Enioluwa Ademidun, expressed excitement on the opportunity of exercising her civic duty.

“The late arrival of the officials was not encouraging. We were told they would arrive by 8 a.m., but we had to wait for about two hours before they arrived.

In a major polling centre in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, over twenty thousand voter who thronged the centre could not exercise their franchise due to the late arrival of the official. There was pandemonium in the centre as security agents locked the gate preventing the voters from entering the centre.

Many women and men were seen scaling the fence of the centre in order to gain entry. Hell was let loose when the gate was opened as the large crowd of voters rushed in at once raising fears of stampede.

In Imo and Abia States, many of the polling units were empty as at 10am as the officials were no where to be found. The electorates who had come out as early as 5.30am having been told to arrive early, were seen frustrated by the delay. Many others who were impatient with the shoddy process went back to their homes.

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