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SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2023
Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
Peoples Democeatic Party has won the seven local government areas announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Saturday’s governorship election in Rivers State.
The seven local government areas won by the party include Ikwerre, where All Progressives Congress chieftain and former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, hails from.
APC Wins 22 Out of 26 House of Assembly Seats in Ondo
Fidelis David in Akure
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won majority seats in the Ondo State House of Assembly election held on Saturday.
In the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, the APC won 22 seats out of the 26 constituencies across the 18 council areas of the state, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the remaining four seats.
Ondo is one of the eight states where governorship election did not hold on Saturday because the incumbent Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), will complete his second term in office in 2024.
The results declared showed clearly that Saturday’s election was a two-horse race and a straight battle between APC and PDP across the 3,933 polling units and 203 political wards across the council areas of the state.
The APC won 22 and lost two seats in Akoko Akoko Southwest, one seat in Akoko Northwest, and one seat in Akure South LGA.
In the same vein, four out of eight serving members of the state Assembly who sought reelection suffered defeat in the election.
They include Tomide Akinribido (Ondo West 1 PDP); Favour Tomomewo (Ilaje 2, ADC); Hon. Taofeeq Muhammed (Akoko Northwest 2, APC) and Toluwani Borokini (Akure South1, APC).
However, four other incumbent lawmakers were reelected. They include Oluwole Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi (Owo 1 APC/Majority Leader); Oladiji Olamide (Ondo east APC); Ololade Gbegudu (Okitipupa 11, APC); and Abayomi Akinruntan (Ilaje 1, APC) who is returning for the third term.
Three female lawmakers will be part of the 10th Assembly as the female APC candidates won in Owo 1, Idanre and Ilaje 2 constituencies.
In 2019, the APC won 23 seats in the Assembly, the opposition PDP won only two seats, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) got the remaining one seat, while the ruling APC lost the state to the opposition PDP during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Also in 2019, Favour Tomomewo of Ilaje constituency 2 was the only female candidate, compared to 2023 where three females won the election.
Meanwhile, a total of 208 candidates from 19 political parties contested the Assembly election to represent the 26 constituencies across the council areas.
Governorship Election Results in Delta State as Declared by INEC
Ika North-East LGA
Registered voters – 131,945
Accredited voters – 34,807
APC – 4,733
LP – 1,990
PDP – 26,760
Valid votes – 33,807
Rejected votes – 918
Total votes cast – 34,725
Aniocha North LGA
Registered voters – 89,010
Accredited voters – 16,846
APC – 4,386
LP – 1,883
PDP – 8,938
Valid votes – 16,316
Rejected votes – 530
Total votes cast -16,846
Ndokwa East LGA
Registered voters – 86,208
Accredited voters – 20,434
APC – 9,044
LP – 251
PDP – 10,146
Valid votes – 19,843
Rejected votes – 485
Total votes cast – 20,328
Kwara Governorship Election Results as announced by INEC
1. Ekiti local government
Number of registered voters, 44,016.
Number of accredited voters, 11,849
Total valid votes, 11,598
Rejected votes, 251
Total votes cast, 11,849.
2. Isin local government
Number of registered voters- 42,238
Number of accredited voters -9,631
Total votes cast -9630
Valid votes -9,438
Total votes cast-9,630
3. Offa Local government area
Number of registered voters 97,945
Accredited voters 24,115ll
Total number of valid votes 23,531
Rejected votes 584
Over voting in Essa wards 002 and 006 as such two votes were cancelled.
4. Oke Ero
Accredited voters -11942
Total votes -11,942
Reg voters 61672
Accredited voters 16533
Valid votes 16170
Total votes 16528
Cancellation at Ijagbo due to over-voting in one PU
6. Ilorin South local government
Reg voters 161,045
Valid votes -35,949
Rejected votes -774
Total votes cast -36,723
7. Asa local government
Valid votes 27,907
Rejected votes -583
Total votes cast 28,490
Cancellation in two PUs due to violent crisis
8. Irepodun local government
Reg voter 89644
PDP – 7,614
Total Valid votes -22,733
Rejected votes -427
Total votes cast -23,160
9. Moro local government
Registered voters -81,646
Total Valid votes -24,466
Rejected votes -461
Total votes cast -24,927
Cancellation at one polling unit
10. Patigi local government
Reg voters -68,136
Accredited voters -21,930
Total valid votes -20,976
Rejected votes -748
Total votes cast -21,724
Cancellation at two PUs due to over-voting.
11. Ilorin East local government
Registered voters -163,701
Accredited voters -43,578
Total Valid votes -42,170
Rejected votes -1,015
Total votes cast -43,185
Cancellation at two wards in two PUs due to over-voting
12. Ifelodun local government
Registered voters -130,778
Accredited voters -29,500
Total Valid votes -29,006
Rejected votes -494
Total votes cast -29,500
Bauchi State Governorship Election Result: Shira local government Governorship results:
2) Beli Gagidba Ward:
3) Kulbori ward:
4) Bakal/Bagua ward:
5) Zubo ward:
6) Tumfafi Ward:
7) Faggo Ward:
These are the seven wards out of eleven in Shira Local government area that have submitted their results so far.
PDP’s Makinde Wins 17 LGs, Awaits Result from 1 Council
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is coasting home to victory as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won in 17 out of the 18 local government announced so far by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor, who is seeking reelection is contesting against a three-term Senator, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Adebayo Adelabu of Accord, among other contestants.
Below are the results as announced by INEC.
1) Ona-Ara LG
2) Ibadan Northwest LG
3) Ibarapa East LG
4) Afijio LG
5) Atiba LG
6) Oriire LG
7) Ibadan Southwest LG
8) Oluyole LG
9) Atisbo LG
10) Saki East LG
11) Surulere LG
12) Itewiwaju LG
13) Ogo Oluwa LG
14) Irepo LG
15) Olorunsogo LG
16) Ibadan Northeast LG
17) Ogbomosho South LG
18) Ibadan Southeast LG
Ogun Governorship Election Result As released this morning by INEC
APC 11098 Winner
EGBADO SOUTH LG
ABK SOUTH LG
BENUE DECIDES 2023 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION Results for 7 Local Governments
Total APC 133,191
APC leading with 57,914 votes
Embrace Peace, Accept Poll Outcome, Lagos APC Tells LP’s Rhodes-Vivour
The All Progressives Peoples Congress in Lagos State says alleged threats by Labour Party’s (LP) governorship flag-bearer, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, at Saturday’s election shows the candidate’s lack of sportsmanship.
APC’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Seye Oladejo, while reacting to alleged threats by Rhodes-Vivour in a statement on Saturday, said that the ruling party had no reason to be violent.
“The attention of the APC has been drawn to a statement made by LP’s governorship candidate Mr Gbadebo Chinedu Rhodes-Vivour on Saturday’s elections.
“He accused INEC and the police of
provoking Lagosians’ and warning thatif tonight Lagos State catches fire, it is not our fault’.
“He says `a lot of places are still under attack by thugs and hooligans of the APC.
“This scaremongering is typical of bad losers who lack the spirit of sportsmanship,’’ Oladejo stated.
According to him, security agencies should note Rhodes-Vivour’s threat.
“Should there be any breakdown of law and order in any part of our state, law enforcement agencies should know who to grab – Mr Rhodes-Vivour,’’ he added.
Oladejo also stated that the APC was also compiling reports of how its supporters were harassed and attacked during the exercise, saying “some of the reports are really scary.’’
“Now the LP candidate is playing the victim. This old trick won’t work; discerning Lagosians know they are all lies deployed to attract sympathy.
“Our party has no need to be violent because we are sure of the glittering credentials of our governorship candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu who will never be associated with violence.
“We advise LP and its candidate to embrace peace instead of threatening to bring down the roof on everybody. It won’t work,’’ Oladejo stressed.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that violent attacks by hoodlums disrupted the governorship and House of Assembly elections in parts of Lagos State on Saturday.
Rhodes-Vivour had earlier alleged that an agent of his party at the polls in the state had been shot dead.
The LP candidate, who said the election process was fraught with voter intimidation and suppression, alleged that INEC and the police were complicit in the killing.
Addressing Lagos residents in a video recorded at the LP’s Situation Room, Rhodes-Vivour accused the electoral body and the security agencies of provoking the people. (NAN)
PDP Wins Ede North Constituency in Osun
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has declared Mr Babajide Kofoworola, the PDP candidate for Ede North State Constituency, winner of the Osun State House of Assembly election.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Popoola Bayode of the Obafemi Awolowo University, declared Kofoworola winner having polled the highest number votes.
Kofoworola polled 17,530 votes to defeat his closest rivalry in the the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Abdulquadri Suleiman , who came second with a total vote of 9,010 .
Labour party came third with just 13 votes . (NAN)
PDP Wins Ede South Constituency in Osun
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has declared PDP’s Olayiwola Olalekan winner of Ede South State Constituency seat in Osun.
INEC Returning Officer Muritala Monsuru declared Olalekan winner of the Saturday poll after collating the votes from all the wards.
Olalekan polled 14,468 votes to defeat his APC rival, Mr Raji Sijuade, who got 5,204 votes. (NAN)
PDP Wins Kaura Constituency in Kaduna
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has declared Mr Yusuf Mugu of the Peoples’ Democratic Party as winner in Kaura State Constituency of Kaduna State.
Returning Officer in charge of the State Assembly election in the Constituency, Dr Yusuf Abubakar of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, announced that Mugu polled 14,085 to defeat four other contestants.
He said that Mr Afan Tandad of Labour Party came second with a total of 12,737 votes, while Mr Sunday Nehemiah of the All Progressive Congress came third with 8,715 votes.
The Returning Officer said Mr Isaac Gandu of the New Nigerian People’s Party trailed behind with 1,121 votes.
Abubakar explained that a total of 37,260 voters were accredited out of the 101,275 total registered voters in the local government, of which 37,247 cast their votes. (NAN)
APC Wins Somolu Constituency 2 in Lagos
INEC) on Sunday declared Mr Samuel Apata of the APC as the winner of Lagos State House of Assembly Constituency 2 seat in Somolu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Governorship and House of Assembly elections were held nationwide on Saturday.
Prof. Issac Olasunkanmi Olusola, the Returning Officer for the Somolu Constituency 2, who declared the results at about 5.05 a.m. at INEC Collation Centre in Somolu, said that Mr Samuel Apata secured 21, 220 votes to beat his closest opponent, Mr Olusegun Fatai of the Labour Party (LP), who got 9, 664 votes.
According to him, 10 political parties contested for the Somolu House of Assembly Constituency 2 seat.
The returning officer said that the election was contested and the candidates recorded the following votes.
Shobamowo Gbolahan Joseph, Accord scored 33 votes, Koledoye Johnson Ade, AA scored 19 votes, Ishola Rauf Shina, AAC scored 23 votes, Olaiya Ibrahim, ADP scored 66 votes, Adewole Dare Jerry, BP scored 48 votes, Olusegun Fatai, LP scored 9, 664 votes, Baale Taoreed Oladipo, NNPP scored 44 votes, Ajayi Ayodeji Johnson, PDP scored 3, 925 votes and Salami Basiru, SDP scored 22 votes.
Olusola said, “I, Prof. Issac Olasunkanmi Olusola, hereby certify that I am the returning officer for the Somolu House of Assembly Constituency 2 election held on the 18th day of March, 2023 that the election was contested.”
He said that Apata, having scored the highest votes at the election, won the House of Assembly election for the Somolu Constituency 2.
“Samuel Apata of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, has scored the highest number of votes; he is hereby declared the winner and returned elected on 19th March, 2023,” Olusola said. (NAN)
APC Candidate Wins Somolu Constituency 1 in Lagos
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared Mr Abiodun Orekoya of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the Lagos State House of Assembly Constituency 1 seat in Somolu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Governorship and House of Assembly elections were held nationwide in Nigeria on Saturday.
Dr Waziri Adisa, the Returning Officer for Somolu Constituency 1, declared the results at about 4.50 a.m. at INEC Collation Centre in Somolu.
He said that Orekoya secured 14, 256 votes to beat his closest opponent, Mr Adelana Adesegun-Adewale of the Labour Party, who got 4, 865 votes.
According to him, nine political parties contested for the Somolu House of Assembly Constituency 1 seat.
The Returning Officer added that Shittu Adedola-Olukorede of PDP scored 1,078, Awofodu Oluwabor-Oluwaseye of AA, 62 votes, Ayodele Gbenga-Johnson of AAC, 4 votes, and Olaleye Ezekiel-Oyefemi of ADC, 70 votes.
Others are Adeniyi Kolade of ADP, 37 votes, Ezitonye Peace Uzoma of BP, 21 votes, Gabriel Temitope-Dosunmu of NNPP scored 24 votes, and Awodeji Abdul of SDP had 1 vote.
“Abiodun Orekoya of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and returned elected,” Adisa said. (NAN)
INEC Announces Sunday for Commencement of Result Collation in Cross River
INEC has declared the collation centre for the governorship and state house of assembly elections opened.
Declaring the event open, late on Saturday at the INEC Secretariat in Calabar, Prof Gabriel Yomere, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Cross River, thanked all who were present.
Yomere also used the opportunity to introduce Prof. Teddy Adies, State Returning Officer for the election.
On his part, Adies said the collation of results at the state level was after each of the results had been announced at the Local Government level.
The returning officer, who is from the Federal University Otueke, asked if any LGA was ready with their result and since none was ready, he postponed the collation to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
He said by then, many results would have come in for the collation to fully commence
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of Inter Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Cross River witnessed the event. (NAN)
INEC Fixes Sunday for Suspended Asari-Toru LG Election
The INEC in Rivers, on Saturday said that the Commission was ready to conduct the election of Asari-Toru Local Government Area and the ward 14 of Degema Local Government Area on Sunday.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Dr. Johnson Alalibo, disclosed this in a statement by Mrs Geraldine Ekelemu, the Public Relations Officer of INEC, in Port Harcourt.
Alalibo stated that election could not hold in the LGAs due to the voters’ resistance of deployed election officials and materials for the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Alalibo said that the electorate and other stakeholders demanded to see the ward collation officer before they would allow the election to commence in Asari-Toru LGA.
He said that voters at ward 14 in Degema LGA equally demanded that the supervising Presiding Officer (SPO) must come to the Registration Area Centre with collation sheets, thereby disallowing the election to hold in the area.
The REC said that the Commission had decided to conduct the election at the areas on Sunday, standing on the premise and relying on section 24 of the Electoral Act 2022. (NAN)
SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 2023
EFCC Arrests 65 Suspects over Alleged Voter Inducement
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commissiom (EFCC) Saturday arrested 65 persons in 28 states over alleged voter inducement during the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.
This is contained in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujiaren.
Uwujiaren stated that 20 of the suspects were arrested in Kwara, while 13 suspects were arrested in Kaduna State.
He added that 12 suspects were arrested in Rivers; four suspects each were arrested in Akwa Ibom and Cross River, while others were arrested in Gombe, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger States.
“Those arrested in Kaduna State were 10 males and three females. They were apprehended by EFCC operatives either working on intelligence reports or were chanced upon during monitoring.
“A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was nabbed at School Road, Unguwan Rimi in Kaduna. The suspect, who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody pending the conclusion of investigation.
“Also in Kaduna, a team arrested a suspect with voter coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party,’’ Uwujiaren stated.
He added that the EFCC team monitoring voting around Local Education Authority School, Kabala Doki in Kaduna also arrested two suspects for vote buying.
The EFCC spokesperson noted that upon arrest, N67,500, a list containing names of voters, their PVC numbers and bank accounts details were recovered from the suspects.
He stated also that investigation showed that the major modus operandi of the suspects was to give cash, transfer money, coupons or send recharge cards to eligible voters to induce them.
Uwujiaren said a search of their persons and phones showed that most of them had transferred money into bank accounts of some voters on the lists recovered from them.
“Some of the items recovered from the suspects were voter cards, monies, lists containing names and accounts details of voters and telephone recharge cards,’’ he stressed. (NAN)
No Security Threat in Zamfara, APC Plotting to Disrupt Poll Result Collation, PDP Alleges
Zamfara State PDP Candidate, Dauda Lawal has alleged that the state government was hell-bent on disrupting the process of result collation.
Lawal in a statement by his media office Saturday in Gusau stated that the state government had perfected plans to issue a fake security threat in some local government areas of the state.
He said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in an early lead in the results so far collated from polling units across the state.
“There was a massive turnout of voters, and the results coming out indicates that PDP is comfortably winning.
“Elections were held successfully in all local government areas, but we learned that the governor is mobilizing thugs intending to disrupt the process.
“We have uncovered that they want to disrupt the collation process in Shinkafi, Zurmi, Birnin Magaji, Anka, and Kauran Namoda local government areas.
“We call on the security agencies in the country, INEC, and International Organisations to consider Zamfara as a flashpoint area and beam searchlight on it to monitor, and supervise the collation of results.”
Zamfara PDP Guber Candidate Wins Polling Unit
The Peoples Democratic Party Governorship Candidate in Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, has won his GRA II Health Centre polling unit, Madawaki, Gusau scoring 384 votes.
His closest rival and incumbent Governor Bello Mutawalle of All Progressives Congress polled 82 votes.
El-Rufai Decries Voter Intimidation, Low Voter Turnout
John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has decried voter intimidation in Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections in the southern part of the state.
He also lamented the low turnout of voters across the state.
The governor said although the election was generally peaceful across the state, he received reports of voter intimidation in Southern Kaduna.
Speaking in an interview with journalists shortly after casting his vote, El-Rufai commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving on the election process.
“Generally speaking, the process has been peaceful and smooth except in a few places in Southern Kaduna where we got a report of voter intimidation.
“People are being asked to vote for one party or go back home,” he said.
The governor said security agencies were on top of the situation.
“We anticipated some level of violence but by the grace of God, there was no report because security was put in place in response to that intelligence,” he added.
He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) was optimistic of a positive outcome of the election.
Also speaking in an interview after casting his vote at his LEA Kawo pulling unit, the APC governorship candidate, Senator Uba Sani, alleged that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was conniving with INEC officials to intimidate voters and thumb print ballot papers.
According to Sani, voters in Zaria and Kajuru were being intimidated while ballot papers were being thumb printed.
Many residents of Kaduna metropolis did not turn come out to vote.
In places like Barnawa, Sabon Tasha, Narayi, Kakuri, Kigo Road, Angwan Sarki, Anguwan Megero, among several places, voter turnout was low.
C’River APC Guber Candidate Lauds INEC on Peaceful Polls
- One killed in Ogoja, four buses burnt in Odukpani
Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Prince Bassey Otu, has given high marks to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of Saturday’s governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.
Speaking with journalists in his country home in Adiabo Okurikan, Odukpani Local Government Area, Otu said from feelers reaching him from the field, the elections were generally peaceful, and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine were largely functional.
Out, who voted in Efut Ward in the area, said: *Yes, I have full confidence in the BVAS. If you want to look at the election INEC have been conducting over the years, right from 1999 till date, even at bye-election, you’ll see that somehow they live up their game.
“People must not forget where we are coming from, and the type of greed that has been injected into politics. The fact that our economy is very bad and people are looking at election probably as the only way out, as a result of that, it becomes a total war and at times INEC is at the receiving end.
“INEC must also be given the benefit of doubt to continue to make sure that they perfect all their arrangements. There were issues with the BVAS but I don’t think that those issues should be key issues in giving judgement that BVAS is not working. I want to believe that INEC will continue to scale up with technology and everything to ensure that BVAS will deliver to the benefit of Nigerians.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of challenge with the BVAS, I went there was no delay. I was captured and the tick came out and I voted so I believe that moving forward they’ll continue to make sure that things are added that will make it completely fine.”
The election in the state was generally peaceful except for few incidences of violence that occurred hours before the commencement of voting.
In Ikoneto, Odukpani Local Government Area, four buses in the convoy of a top member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were burnt beyond recognition and an SUV vehicle vandalised by people suspected to be youths of the community.
Also in Ogoja, a member of the APC, whose name was given as Joe, was allegedly shot and killed by a soldier when he allegedly attempted to tamper with the electioneering.
The police authorities in the state confirmed that they got a report that one person was shot dead by the police in Ogoja.
INEC Postpones Governorship, Assembly Elections in 10 Polling Units in VGC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections in 10 polling units in Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Lagos state, Segun Agbaje made the announcement when he addressed reporters at VGC.
According to him, corps members deployed as ad hoc staff on Saturday were hesitant to enter the VGC estate as they alleged that they were held hostage in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Agbaje said the commission’s ad hoc staff set up voting materials in front of the estate on Saturday but the estate residents claimed that hoodlums might disrupt the process, so they did not feel secure and could not cast their votes.
He said the situation was difficult for security agents to contain hence he and his team had to come to the area.
“We have eight polling units here with 6,024 registered voters and out of which 5,624 people have their PVCs,” he stated, adding that two other polling units at the estate’s main gate were also affected. “Eight here (in the estate) and two outside,” he noted.
“After due consultation and further directive from the national headquarters that we should remobilise here tomorrow (Sunday) morning by 08:30am to conduct the elections, by 08:30am tomorrow (Sunday), we will reconvene here.”
Three Suspected Ballot Box Snatchers Killed, as Voter Apathy Mar Election in Delta
*INEC workers, NYSC members scared off polling centres
*Gunmen ambush INEC staff, snatch voting materials in Bomadi
*Delta REC hints at early release of election results
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The governorship and state legislative elections were generally peaceful across Delta State with the BVAS machines reportedly working seamlessly at practically all polling centres across the state but there was serious low turnout of voters with a few cases of violence reported.
Two young men were shot dead by military personnel at Mosogar in Ethiope West Local Government Area as they allegedly tried to flee a polling unit with snatched ballot boxes while one of two persons who disrupted the polling exercise at Utagaba-Uno in Ndokwa West Local Government Area was also reportedly killed.
THISDAY also learnt that unidentified persons ambushed and snatched voting materials from INEC officials early on Saturday in Tuomo area in Bomadi Local Government Area.
However, Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, was accredited and cast his vote at Polling Unit 17 at Eghoma Primary School, Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
He voted at about 9.50am alongside his wife, Dame Edith and their daughter, who is also the candidate of the PDP for the Delta State House of Assembly in the election.
Okowa, who was impressed with the smooth running of the process and working BVAS machines, appealed to the people to put behind them the disappointment over the failure of INEC in the previous election to keep its promise to upload the BVAS results.
The governor, who is the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP, said, “I have played my part in shaping the future of our great state. If you have a PVC, you should too!”
Nonetheless, Okowa also commended the security personnel for enduring that the process in the area was hitch-free and hoped that INEC would sustained the smooth proceess and upload the election results with the BVAS machines without delay.
The PDP governorship candidate, Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, was accredited and cast his vote at about 11.am at his polling unit in Osubi, Okpe Local Government Area while the APC flag-bearer, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, was accredited about the same and voted at about 11.05am his unit in Orogun, Ughelli North Local Area of the state.
There were conflicting reports of disruption of election process at Evwreni in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, hometown of the 2015 governorship candidate of the Labour Party and a founding member of the APC, O’tega Emerhor.
While a serving member of the State Executive Council was alleged to have led thugs to attack the polling centre and destroyed voting materials in some of the polling units in the community, another account alleged that the APC chieftain had masterminded the disruptive attack witnessed in the community on election day.
There was yet no independent confirmation of those behind the violence at polling units in Evwreni community at the time of filing this report even as the security personnel deployed in the community were apparently unable to stop the distruption or arrest the suspected thugs.
However, some NYSC members serving as INEC adhoc staff and others on election duty reportedly sustained injuries while at least three BVAS machines were also reportedly smashed.
Consequently, INEC recorded an unusual shortage of manpower in several.places, including parts of Ethiope East and Amai in Ukwani where voting could not take place at all in at least 16 units as the people refused participate because only about five INEC officials had arrived with voting materials just one or two units.
In a swift reaction to the incident, the Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Monday Udoh, berated the people for “taking the law into their hands” and preventing the few INEC officials from conducting any voting in the community.
He admitted that INEC in the state has been hit by shortage of manpower.
Udoh, who lamented the voter apathy that characterized the entire eketoral process on Saturday, noted that the people ought to cooperate with the INEC personal that came since the Electoral Act 2022 had provided for continuation of voting the following day where voting could not take place due to inability of INEC to conduct election as scheduled.
Nevertheless, the Delta REC commended the relatively peaceful nature of the election and hinted at early collation and declaration of the governorship and state House of assembly results owing to the fact that there was very low turnout of voters, so that the electoral officers would have relatively less used ballots to compute the results.
THISDAY learnt that the drop in the number of INEC adhoc staff may not be unconnected with the harassment some of them, especially NYSC members, were subjected during the presidential and House of Assembly election on 25th February.
Many corps-members simply opted out of the election duty due to threat of violence, beside the reported delay in the payment of their special duty allowance, alongside policemen deployed to INEC for the general election.
LP Guber Candidate Loses Polling Unit to Sanwo-Olu
The Labour Party candidate in the Lagos State governorship election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has lost his polling unit to the incumbent, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Rhodes-Vivour polled 18 votes while Sanwo-Olu won with 29 votes.
Another contestant in the election, the Peoples Democratic Party’s Olajide Adeniran, popularly known as Jandor, polled two votes.
One vote was counted as void at polling unit 01 at Oshifila Street, Anifowoshe, Ikeja.
In the House of Assembly election at the polling unit, the APC polled 34, LP 15, while PDP polled one vote.
Sanwo-Olu Wins Polling Unit
Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the ruling All Progressives Congress, has won his Polling Unit (Unit 006, Ward E3, Eiyekole, Lagos Island).
The APC also won the Assembly election in the polling unit.
APC – 121
PDP – 01
LP – 02
Accord – 02
APC – 120
PDP – 03
LP – 02
Accord – 01
Lai Mohammed Delivers Polling Unit for AbdulRazaq
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed Saturday delivered his polling unit 006 Oro Ward 2 in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State with 174 votes in the governorship election.
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party came second with 22 votes while the Social Democratic Party polled 16 votes.
Labour Party didn’t record any vote.
There were 750 registered voters in the ward but 226 voters were accredited.
INEC Confirms Kidnap, Release of 19 Ad hoc Staff in Imo
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday, confirmed the kidnap of 19 members of its ad hoc staff while on their way to conduct the House of Assembly election in Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo, Prof. Sylvia Agu disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Owerri.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN) gathered that they were, however, released following intervention by security agents but election materials including BVAS machines are still missing.
Agu said: “The attention of the commission has been drawn to a report from Ugbelle Registration Area (06) in Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo state where thugs carted away all electoral materials and took our staff hostage for some hours during the March 18 House of Assembly election.
“The security forces were informed and a rescue operation was mounted.
“Presently, all ad hoc staff on hostage have been rescued but no trace of the election materials.
“While the commission remains grateful to the security operatives, it condemns such acts of thuggery, intimidation and disenfranchisement of voters and urge the public to continue to have confidence in the electoral process,” Agu stated.
The REC said a full statement on the matter will be issued later. (NAN)
Thugs Destroy Election Materials in Ebonyi community, Police Confirm
Some Political thugs have destroyed electoral materials including the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine and other sensitive materials in Omege Ward, Ezza North Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Omege ward is the polling unit of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Gubernatorial candidate, Prof. Bernard Odoh.
The thugs also injured some voters at the polling unit.
SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ebonyi Command, who confirmed the incident said the electoral materials were initially destroyed.
According to Onovwakpoyeya, yes, some sensitive materials were destroyed but later resent to the affected Polling Unit and election conducted in the area.
An electorate, who refused to mention his name said suspected thugs came into the polling unit and started shooting sporadically.
“No fewer than three persons were shot. They have been taken to the hospital,” he said. (NAN)
Pandemonium as thugs scatter ballot boxes in Lagos
Some unidentified thugs on Saturday in Lagos chased voters away from polling units, as they attempted to steal ballot boxes.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who was at Ward F3 Polling Unit 13, Ago Palace Way, Lagos, watched with surprise as some thugs suddenly started chasing voters away with the aim of snatching ballot boxes.
The people ran for safety as the thugs continued to throw chairs and spray some chemical at them.
NAN reports that the incident was ongoing when armed policemen swung into action and arrested one of the thugs while others fled.
Voting, however, resumed as normalcy was restored by the policemen. (NAN)
ICPC Deploys 400 Operatives to Prevent Vote-buying
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Saturday said it deployed 400 officers and operatives to prevent vote buying in governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.
The ICPC Spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, said in a statement in Abuja that the officer were already operating at the various wards and polling units.
Azuka, said that the chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, addressed the election monitoring teams before their deployment.
She quoted Owasanoye as saying that “Our participation in the election monitoring is a call to an exceptional national duty.
“Our relevance is neither an after-thought nor happenstance but arose from the recognition of our contribution to national development through the implementation of our enforcement and preventive mandates in combating corruption and associated ills.
“Our importance led to the commission being made a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) which comprises our sister agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Military, Police, Department of State Security and other security agencies.
“It has the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Office of National Security Adviser as co-chairs. All these agencies will monitor the elections.”
Owasanoye urged the officers to follow the ICPC guidelines for election monitoring and also comply with the ICCES code of conduct and rules of engagement for security personnel on election duty.
The ICPC boss also counseled the monitoring teams to act with discipline and integrity and directed them to put their body cameras to effective use.
Azuka said the reports from field operations by the Election Monitoring Teams had been sent to the ICPC Situation Room at the Headquarters.
“A vote-buyer at the Ba Sarki Polling Unit 002 central capital of Adamawa State fled on sighting the ICPC monitoring team.
‘“Voting was observed to be going on smoothly in the Surulere area of Lagos State and some other locations in the State.
“ICPC Election Monitoring Teams in Enugu State observed voter apathy at the polling units as only a few voters were on ground, ” she said.
She said that ICPC Election Monitoring Teams were also monitoring the election along with some international observers in some polling units in other states.
She recalled that the anti-corruption agency had on February 25 arrested nine vote-buyers in Osun, Ondo, Borno, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. (NAN)
Masked Thugs Storm Lagos Polling Units, Chase Voters Away
Masked thugs on Saturday invaded some polling units at Ward D, Igando/Ikotun, Lagos State, and chased away voters in queue.
The thugs chased away the voters with sticks and knives at the polling units located at Ijegun Community School.
The polling units include 096, 116, 281, 094, 095 and 084.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent, who monitored elections in the area, reports that the thugs came to the polling units on motorcycles.
They went from one polling unit to another chasing them away.
The attack compelled some voters to jump the school’s fence for safety.
Also at Polling Unit 227 located at Awonisi Gate on Ijegamo Road, the thugs also beat up a lady who tried to take their picture.
They allegedly took her phones and her automated teller machine cards.
They also beat up and wounded a man who attempted to challenge them.
The voters, including accredited ones, did not return to the polling units as at press time even after the thugs left.
NAN reports that few police personnel were at area but were not armed.
One of them told NAN later that they couldn’t do anything because they were not armed.
He, however, said that a patrol team had been called.
A police patrol team arrived at the scene later.
One of the team members said on condition of anonymity,” Why did they call us after the crisis has died down? They should have called earlier.”
NAN had reported that voting was abruptly stopped at Unit 078, Ward F5, Okeafa, Ilamose Estate, Oshodi-Isolo Constituency 2, Lagos State, as thugs chased voters away with bottles and stones at about 10.52 a.m.
NAN equally reported that thugs chased voters away and attempted to steal ballot boxes at Ward F3, Polling Unit 13, on Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos State.
Voters ran for safety as the thugs threw chairs and poured some a chemical substance on them. (NAN)
Abdusalami Urges Contestants to Accept Polls Outcome in Good Faith
Laleye Dipo in Minna
A former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has charged candidates who contested the governorship and House of Assembly elections to accept the results in good faith.
Abubakar made the plea shortly after casting his ballot at the uphill polling unit on Saturday.
The former Nigerian leader, who is also the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, said so far, the elections seems to free and fair.
“So far from what I have seen, everything is going on smoothly. I was captured within a minute. I hope everything goes peacefully,” he said.
Commenting on the poor voter turnout, the former head of state said he could not confirm emphatically since he had not gone round to see things for himself.
“I have not gone round but it should be expected because people get tired to vote. I hope it will be peaceful throughout,” he said.
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, also speaking after casting his vote in Kontagora, described the process as peaceful and orderly, adding that the process was very seamless.
Bello commended the electorate for turning out to exercise their franchise, adding that he believes the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates will emerge victorious.
The governor’s wife, Dr Amina Sani Bello, also cast her vote in Kontagora.
Polls: NSCDC Arrests Thugs in Enugu
Gideon Arinze in Enugu
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has confirmed the arrest of scores of suspected thugs in the Nsukka axis of Enugu State.
The spokesman of the Enugu State Command of the corps, Danny Iwuchukwu, who confirmed the arrest, said that it was carried out in the early hours of Saturday, the election day.
He said that the thugs, numbering over 100, were arrested by officers of the Nigerian Army providing security in the Nsukka axis after an intelligence tip-off at a popular hotel in Nsukka.
He noted that the thugs, who were arrested with AK47 rifles and other dangerous weapons, including axes, clubs and matchets have since been handed over to the Nigeria Police in Nsukka.
Thugs Attack Plateau Polling Unit, Destroy Ballot Papers, Voters Registers
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Some suspected thugs have attacked Pangpit polling unit in Mikang Local Government Area of Plateau state destroying the voters register and ballot boxes.
A voter at the polling unit, Mr. Joshua Kabiru confirmed the development, saying that trouble started when some party agents who observed that some voters were being guided before casting their votes started quarreling among themselves.
Kabiru said, “It was at about 11am on Saturday that the incident happened at the Pangpit polling unit in Mikang. Voting was just going on smoothly when we saw the party agents quarreling among themselves .From what I learnt, one of the party agents complained that some voters were not being given free hand to vote for candidates of their choice in the polling unit.
“Suddenly, some people came and attacked the polling unit. In the process, they destroyed some of the votes cast and also the voters register. They also tore some of the used ballot papers and some people sustained injuries but INEC officials were not among those who sustained injuries. It took the intervention of some security agents who were deployed to the polling unit to bring the situation under control. But before the security men arrived, those who perpetrated the act had fled the scene.”
It was further gathered that following the incident, voting had been suspended in the area.
Spokesman for the Plateau state Police Command, Mr. Alabo Alfred said Senior police officers had been deployed to all the Local Government Areas to handle every security issue that may arise as a result of the on going governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.
Thugs Invade Polling Centre, Attempt to Snatch Ballot Boxes in Anambra
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Some thugs, suspected to be armed, invaded Metu Memorial Primary School in Odoakpu area of Onitsha, Anambra State, Saturday, attempted to snatch some ballot boxes.
A voter, Mr Chibuzor Ekene, told journalists that the men invaded the polling centre with a tricycle, and attempted to snatch the ballot boxes.
He said the men were suspected to have been sponsored by one of the popular political party contesting in the House of Assembly election.
He said: “They arrived and attempted to snatch and destroyed ballot boxes. The people were scared, and they ran away. They also attempted to snatch the phones of many voters.
“The bad boys left before security could arrive the scene. Voting stopped temporarily after the incident.”
The Anambra State Police commissioner in charge of election duty, CP Aderemi Adeoye, confirmed the incident, saying that police operatives were able to confront the thugs, while they abandoned the act and fled.
One Killed, Another Arrested for Vote Buying in Niger
* Thugs invade polling station in Busu
Laleye Dipo in Minna
A middle-aged man was shot and killed in Sauka-kahuta area of Minna, the Niger State capital, during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.
According to eyewitnesses, the man was shot when he and others were throwing stones at security operatives deployed in the area to ensure orderly conduct of the elections.
It was not known why the man and others threw stones at the security men, neither was it known which of the security operatives shot the man.
However, it was learnt that the police personnel, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were among the team of security men posted to the area for the polls.
It was gathered that the remains of the man were taken away by his colleagues probably for burial.
THISDAY can also report that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested the agent of one of the two leading political parties for alleged vote buying in the Sabongari area of Minna.
The agent was said to be giving some naira notes to voters to induce them to vote for his party when he was apprehended and taken away in an EFCC vehicle.
In Busu, Lavun Local Government of the state, thugs were reported to have invaded the Gbadagbadzu polling unit, destroyed the ballot boxes and scattering the votes already cast.
The thugs also injured three people who had cast their ballots and were waiting for the counting.
The presiding officers, according to reports, took to their heels for safety.
When contacted, the Niger State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, promised to get back to THISDAY but did not do so until the time of filing this report.
APC National Chair Debunks Reports on Zoning of N’Assembly Positions
Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has described as fake the widely reported news that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had zoned the various leadership positions in the National Assembly.
Adamu made the clarification while addressing journalists after he cast his vote at his Keffi, Nasarawa State country home on Saturday.
He was reacting to a news report that Senator Barau Jibrin was being favoured to emerge as the Senate President because the NWC of the APC had allegedly zoned the Senate Presidency to the North-west.
But Adamu wondered why politicians would be engaging in wishful thinking instead of awaiting the official pronouncement from the party.
He said: “The report about the zoning arrangements for the 10th National Assembly is fake news. We have not done any zoning.
“I have said it times without number since Monday. I am still saying the same thing. No zoning has been established yet and agreed to.
“No zoning has been made public. Anybody who is saying anything is a rumour. It’s a wishful rumour.”
Also in a statement titled ‘APC Yet To Zone Key 10th National Assembly Positions’, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, on Saturday, the party described stories of the zoning of leadership positions as false and misleading.
Morka said: “The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a report circulating on social media on purported zoning of key positions of the incoming 10th National Assembly. The report is false and misleading and should be disregarded in its entirety.
“The party has not made any decision on zoning of positions or offices of the 10th Assembly.
“As soon as a decision is made on zoning, it will be made public through the party’s official communications channel.”
The misleading reports, which was published by major newspapers on Saturday, had claimed that the NWC of the APC had finally opted to zone the Senate Presidency position to the North-west geopolitical zone, making the “odds to clearly favour Senator Barau Jibrin”.
The false report claimed that the decision on zoning was reached on Friday night by the leadership of the APC after consulting with the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The decision takes pre-eminence over earlier suggestions in some quarters to zone the position to the South,” the debunked story further claimed.
Poor Turnout, Improper Configuration of BVAS Mar Election in Plateau
At Polling Unit 008 Dantanko Ward, Miango.
INEC officials idle by 1:32pm, as only 70 voters from out of 840 registered voters turned up.
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Poor turnout of voters on Saturday characterized governorship elections in Plateau State with electorate accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of lacking integrity.
While some male adults were seen playing draft and other games under the trees in front of their houses, the youths took over the football pitches all over Jos town to while away time.
Some youths numbering over 30 at Dadin Kowa community Jos South Local Government Area of the state, who abandoned the voting exercise said blamed their actions on the outcome of the presidential election which they described as disappointing.
One of them, who identified himself as John Datti said, ” We came out in large en mass during the last presidential election hoping that our votes will count. But we were disappointed when INEC eventually announced the results which obviously did not reflect the voting pattern the votes of the people of the community.
“It shows that our votes did not count and that is why we decided to come out to the pitch to play football rather than going out to waste our time in the name of voting which may still not count at the end of the day.”
Another youth, by name Sunday Igbigbi at Angwa Rukuba football pitch where they the youths also stages a football match, also corroborated Datti’s position. They called on INEC to learn to respect the Nigerians and their votes.
Igbigbi said, “I can tell you that many Nigerians will not come out next time to vote at all if INEC’s integrity remains questionable. So, it’s up to INEC to use this last opportunity of governorship elections to save it’s face from shame.
At Polling Unit: 042 Tudun wada/Kabong Ward, Rukuba Road. Number of registered voters is 3144, accredited voters were just 500 in number.
Meanwhile, initial hitches were experienced at Rabin polling unit, Du when configured BVAS still carries February 25th, 2023 date when the Presidential polls held.
The Returning Officer said the error must have emanated during the configuration of the BVAS. He returned the BVAS for proper configuration.
Bode George Condemns Voter Suppression in Lagos
As violence and voter suppression are reported in parts of Lagos during the ongoing governorship election, former national Deputy Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George, has described the election as a sham.
He faulted the conduct of the election, saying reports of snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation and harassments of voters is disappointing.
George made the remark after voting at his Cameron Road, Ikoyi, voting unit, insisting that the election was a sham.
He said, “The attitude of the APC is very disappointing. If you continue like this when things happen, don’t complain.
He said where he voted was peaceful but the reports he had received so far showed, there were ballot snatching and harassments of voters.
He mentioned Surulere, Ikeja, Somolu, Oshodi and Kosofe as areas where voters suppression were allegedly committed.
“What is all this? They forget that the international community is watching. What kind of nation do we want to be in the eye of the comity of nations?
“What I found was a general voters’ apathy. How would the outside world look at us because we can’t exist alone. We will wait and see the final outcome.
“If this kind of attitude becomes a norm, it means we can’t do simple things right,” he added.
The PDP chieftain said the presence of military personnel should be to ensure that the process was orderly, saying “they are to ensure that people vote freely without any encumbrance.”
Zamfara PDP Cries out over Arrest, Harassment of Party Leaders
The People’s Democratic Party, Zamfara State chapter, has decried the harassment and arrest of its members by the police.
The PDP, through its Publicity Secretary, raised the alarm following the arrest of some key members of the party by the police while elections are still in progress.
The PDP noted that the hatchet job by the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) was targeted at frustrating the leaders of the party and as well threatening party members in order to ensure that the election process is not free and fair.
The party said: “It is unfortunate that the Zamfara State government is using the police to intimidate and harass members of the opposition across the state.
“There is nowhere in the country where party members are being harassed like this.
“Zamfara State government should stop intimidating our members. They have perfected so many evil plans to disrupt the process and suppress voters, but the people stood against them and their plans.
“Now they have resorted to the use of the police to arrest our leaders across the state. We are not in military era.
“We have confirmed so far that in Mafara LGA, our party leaders like Captain Mairiga and Alhaji Aliyu E.S were arrested this morning.
“While in Anka LGA, the police have arrested Mustapha Ibrahim Mayanci, Mustapha Ibrahim Danliti Mayanci, Abubakar Usman Mayanci, and Sama’ila Mayanci among others.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police, the Director DSS, and international election observers to watch the happenings in Zamfara very closely.
“We are hopeful of winning the election in Zamfara, as our candidate Dauda Lawal is in the early lead from the results collated so far.”
Polls: Makinde, Wife Cast Votes in Ibadan
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and his wife, Tamunominini, joined millions of voters in the state to cast their votes at the governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
The governor, who voted at Ward 11, Unit 01, Abayomi Iwo Road in Ibadan North East Local Government, said that he was impressed with the peaceful conduct of the election so far.
His wife, Tamunominini, voted at Unit 08 Army Barracks, Iwo Road, also in Ibadan North East Local Government of the state.
Makinde had arrived the voting point at 10:40 am, and cast his vote at about 10:48am.
He had earlier been verified and accredited with the BVAS machine.
The governor, while speaking with journalists after casting his ballot, described the voting process as peaceful and commended the security agencies for doing a good job.
He called on the people to come out in good number to exercise their civic rights, urging those who were yet to cast their votes to be patient.
He expressed confidence that the people of the state would vote for him again.
According to him, “In my own unit here, everything is going peacefully. The INEC officials came early. You yourselves can see that people are out here exercising their civic rights, and from the security aspect, it has been so far so good.
“Let me also use this opportunity to tell people to come out. You know they were saying there will be security challenges, but as you can see, there are no security challenges. Our people are here voting peacefully.
“I believe our people will vote Omituntun 2.0.”
Guber, Assembly Election Better Than Feb 25 Poll, Says Tambuwal
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has appreciated the general conduct of the March 18 Governorship and State Assembly elections in the state.
Tambuwal made the commendation shortly after he cast his vote at Community Girls’ Secondary School, Tambuwal, in Sokoto on Saturday.
According to the governor, the exercise is truly and generally secure and free of rancor.
“There is a lot of improvement when compared with the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should keep to its promise of ensuring all-inclusive election across the country.
“We were highly disappointed with the way INEC conducted the last elections in which the process experienced a lot of irregularities.
“Comparing with the current elections, the situation is highly different from the report we are receiving so far across the state,” he said.
Tambuwal further added that if the situation was sustained to the end, the will of the people would truly prevail at the end of the exercise.
“The election materials arrived most of the polling units in time and so far no issue of BVAS malpractice.
“However, government needs to ensure the recruitment of more security personnel to address shortage of manpower in the country,” he added. (NAN)
Residents Unleash Dogs on Thugs at Lagos Polling Units
*Police shoot suspected thug
Ago Palace in Lagos is currently under tension as residents unleashed their dogs to chase away political thugs suspected to be loyal to the ruling All Progressive Party (APC),.
Also, police has shot one of the suspected thugs.
THISDAY gathered that the Ago Palace residents stood their ground to vote for the candidates of their choice.
While a police van filled with armed officers was seen driving off, the thug shot was left behind gasping for breath on the ground.
Former Osun Governor Gboyega Oyetola, casting his vote during the House of Assembly election, at his polling unit, Ward 01,
unit 10, Boripe Local Government, Irágbìjí, Saturday
Osinbajo, Abiodun, Adebutu, Others Vote, Laud Process
James Sowole in Abeokuta
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other stakeholders have commended the organisation and process of the ongoing Governorship and House of Assembly election in Ogun State, describing it as improvement on the February 25, presidential and National Assembly elections.
The stakeholders, spoke shortly after casting their votes at their various units in Ogun State.
Osinbajo, who voted at VP Unit 14 Ward 1, Ikenne Local Government, described the process as very excellent in his own unit.
He said, “My own polling booth here is excellent and i think everything is peaceful and the whole process has been conducted very well and i just hope and pray that this is how it is being carried out across the nation. It has been very pleasant experience that i was able to cast my votes and also so many of us have been able to cast our votes.”
Governor Dapo Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress, APC, voted at his Unit 3 Ward 1 in Regun area of Iperu town few minutes after 11.am while Oladipupo Adebutu voted at 10.59am at Ward 5, polling unit 4, Wesley Primary School Iperu.
Iperu is the home town of governor Abiodun of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Adebutu, who is the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and main challenger of Gov. Abiodun in the governorship race.
Adebutu described the turnout of voters as impressive and expressed the hope that their expressed wishes would count at the end of the day.
Also, the Gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Ogun state, Biyi Otegbeye, voted at about 10:01am at the State hospital, Ilaro, Ward 1, Unit 1, in Egbado South Local Government area of the state.
Otegbeye while speaking with journalists, commended the electoral process, saying that, it is an improvement on what was obtained during the last presidential election.
“To the glory of God, everything looks peaceful. Everybody is orderly and I can see the excitement and enthusiasm on people to cast their votes.
“The electoral officers are on duty, they are cautious and everything seems to be going on smoothly at this particular time.
“What I can see at this stage is that it is much more better than what we experienced during the Presidential election.
Otegbeye said he was however, optimistic of victory for himself and his party at the poll.
”I am expecting an overwhelming victory for myself and my party, the ADC”, he added
Also speaking, the newly elected senator for Ogun West, Solomon Adeola, commended the Saturday’s election process as a great improvement on the what obtained on February 25.
Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was conspicuously, absent at his Ward 6 Unit 22, Totoro Abeokuta North Local Government.
A media aide to the former president, Kehinde Akinyemi, said Obasanjo, has not been in Abeokuta, for over 10 days.
Sokoto PDP Guber Candidate Votes, Confident of Victory
The Governorship Candidate of PDP in Sokoto State, Mallam Saidu Umar has described the l governorship election as a seamless exercise. He made this known while exercising his franchise at Ubandoma Polling Unit 020, Sabon-titi, Kofar Atiku area of Sokoto.
Umar, while briefing newsmen immediately after casting his ballot, said “so far voting has been going on calmly, and peacefully in the area, and within the metropolitan areas.”
Commenting on the recently held Presidential and National Assembly elections, Mallam Umar described today’s leg of the election as relatively better than the previous one.
However, the PDP candidate said he remains upbeat about victory, when asked about his expectation at the end of the exercise.
“The PDP, God willing, is optimistic of victory in the election”, he said
He called on eligible voters to come out and vote, and also safeguard their votes.
Soludo Lauds INEC for Early Commencement of Voting in Anambra
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for early commencement of the voting process in the state.
Soludo gave the commendation shortly after voting at Polling Unit 002 Ovuiyi Umueze, Isuofia, Aguata Council Area at 11:30 am
“From the information available to me, I have sampled views across the state and it seems to be going on fairly well in terms of deployment of logistics and early commencement of election.
“I think there is a great improvement compared to the previous election in terms of the arrival and deployment of materials. It seems to be going on well, relatively peaceful,” Soludo declared.
The governor, who expressed optimism that the will of the people will prevail, also said that the turnout of voters is low compared to the previous election and encouraged Anambra residents to step out and exercise their civic obligations by voting.
“Anyone who is in the queue before 2:00 pm, will be allowed to vote and your vote will count. We expect the finishing, collation and announcement of results to end with a flourish,” the governor concluded.
Tambuwal Votes, Confident of PDP’s Victory
By Onuminya Innocent In Sokoto
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has voted at his polling unit.
Tambuwal who voted at his 033 polling unit, Kofar AJia Government Girls Day Secondary School, Tambuwal, a 11:30am was confident of the victory of PDP’s candidate Sa’aidu Umar.
He maintained that last month’s presidential and national assembly elections fell short of international electoral standard.
“Look at last election, no national assembly seat was declared in the state. How can 9 federal house of representatives and 3 senate seats be declared inconclusive?” he asked.
He noted that PDP was popular among the people of Sokoto state, stressing the people of the state will massively vote for the party.
He however commended INEC for improving on last election, noting that INEC officials arrived polling units early on Saturday compared to last election.
He urged l people of the state to come out en mass to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice, saying this election will define their future.
Emenike Votes, Confident of Victory, Lauds INEC for Improved Voting ProcessEmmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State, Ikechi Emenike, has expressed confidence in emerging victorious in the governorship contest.
“I’m confident of victory. You can see the mood of voters. We are looking forward to victory by the grace of God by tomorrow,” he said.
Emenike, who cast his vote in polling unit 11 Umukabia Okpuala at exactly 10:13a.m, told journalists that he was happy with the arrangements put on ground by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the voting process was going on smoothly.
“You can see that the BVAS is working well and I’m sure you can see that quite a lot of people are desirous to vote,” he said.
He advised the electorcal umpire “to ensure transparency and fairness to everybody”.
Meanwhile, the governorship and state assembly election has shown remarkable improvement on the part of INEC as deployment of election materials was done on time.
In most polling units monitored at Umuahia North and Umuahia South Local Governments that make up the capital city, voting started on or before 9.00am.
However, the enthusiasm of voters which manifested in the huge turnout of voters very early on voting day during the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly polls was lacking this time around.
A senior citizen, Chief Orji Ukaonu, said that people have a sense of disappointment over the outcome of the presidential poll and it has dampened their enthusiasm for the governorship and state assembly elections.
“People were driven by the enthusiasm generated by the candidacy of Peter Obi and they trooped out in large numbers to their polling units as early as 6.30am.
“But after the result was announced, people were disappointed and unhappy. You can see the effect today as electoral officers are telling ones waiting for voters instead of the other way around,” he said.
But a party agent, who gave his name simply as Ukoha, said that it was expected that large number of voters would still turn out to vote “if they hear that the voting process is no more rigorous as it was during the presidential election”.
Buhari Votes, Says APC Will Triumph in Governorship, Assembly Polls
.Asks electorate to vote according to their conscience
.Osinbajo lauds voting process
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has predicted victory for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s Governorship and State of Assembly elections across the country.
According to him, Nigerians know the party “means what it says, and says what it means.’’
Speaking with newsmen on Saturday after casting his vote at Ward A, Sarkin Yara Polling Unit, 003 in his country home Daura in Katsina state, the President said “I am sure we are going to win, again’’.
According to him: “Nigerians trust us because we mean what we say and say what we mean. We have maintained that trust. We told Nigerians that we will work for them, and we have done our best in education and health facilities, and Nigerians appreciate our efforts”.
The President urged the electorate to follow their conscience in choosing right leaders, both state executives and legislatures, admonishing that the era of vote buying had been diminished.
“I am aware that the money is not there like before for people to sway voters, like they used to do. And if they bring out money now, the people should pocket it, and still vote their conscience,’’ he said.
President Buhari noted that he was not surprised at the results of the Presidential elections on February 25, 2023, which saw Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerging as President-elect, since the APC campaigns were thorough, and detailed.
The President noted that the APC followed the constitutional procedure for the entire electoral process, choosing a party Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who had served as a two-term Governor in Nasarawa State, and legislator in the Senate, with an experience that will secure the electoral value and relevance of the party.
On deepening of democratic culture and rising awareness among Nigerians, President Buhari said the media had played a major role in empowering people with information on their rights, and providing a platform for voters to challenge leaders on promises and records.
His words: “The media is doing very well in creating awareness and enabling the right conversation. You can hear the tough questions for leaders during interviews on TV, radio and other platforms, and the journalists always press for answers”.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo, on Saturday voted at the Egunrege Polling Unit 14, Ward 1 in Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State, expressing satisfaction with the conduct of the election.
Osinbajo and his wife arrived the polling unit, got accredited and proceeded to cast their votes at exactly 10:34 am.
Speaking afterwards with journalists, the Vice President said “from here at my own polling unit, it is excellent. The whole process has been conducted very well and I just hope and pray that this is how it is being carried out across the nation.
“It has been a very pleasant experience. I am glad that I am able to cast my votes and so many others who want to cast their votes have been able to do so,” he added.
Obi Votes, Laments Vote Buying, Apathy
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, has voted at his Amatutu polling unit in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Obi, who cast his vote at about 11.20am, lamented that Nigeria has returned to the era of transactional politics, saying that the ongoing election is witnessing vote buying.
Obi also lamented the low turnout of voters in the state.
He said this may be because the people have lost interest in the system.
No Police Presence in Most Zamfara Polling Units, PDP Alleges
The Zamfara State Peoples Democratic Party has said that there is zero police presence in most of the polling units across the state.
The party in a statement through the Dauda Lawal Media Office, Saturday in Gusau, stated that elections were yet to commence in many polling units in the state.
The governorship elections were expected to commence early Saturday.
Though in some states, concerns heightened over alleged moves by governors to rig the elections by all means possible.
The statement read: “It is worrisome the situation in Zamfara State at the moment, because elections are yet to commence in most of the polling units across the state.
“The Police that is expected to provide security for INEC officials, election materials, and voters are nowhere to be found.
“The Zamfara State PDP is worried and believes that this is a plan by the state government to resort to extra-judicial means to compromise the process.
“There is already information of thugs attacking voters in Gummi, Zurmi, Bungudu, Mafara, and Shinkafi Local Government Areas.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police to call the Zamfara state commissioner of police to order. The police should be neutral, not partisan.
“It is only the security operatives that can thwart the plan to further compromise the electoral officers, thus making the falsification of results much easier than it was in the previous exercise.”
Low Turnout as Enugu Residents Elect Gov, State Assembly Members
Gideon Arinze in Enugu
Residents of Enugu State appear to have lost hope and interest in the conduct of elections given the low turnout of voters that is currently being experienced at the ongoing governorship and state assembly elections.
This is unlike the last Presidential and National Assembly elections during which residents of the State trooped out in large numbers to vote, despite threats of sit at home.
Recall that in some polling units where voting materials did not arrive on time, voters waited for several hours just to exercise their rights.
However, while voting materials arrived on time today and voting commenced early enough, it was noticed in some of the polling units visited that the turnout was poor.
At the Central Primary School Ugwuaji and Afor Market Square Polling units, accreditation and voting started at 9am. But only a few voters turnout out. The story is the same across some polling units across the state.
It was also noticed that unlike in the last election when residents stayed back in their numbers to count their votes, most of them were leaving as soon as they cast their votes.
At the Central Primary School Ugwuaji and Afor Market Square, party agents who spoke to this reporter said that the low turnout being experienced was as a result of the outcome of the last presidential and national assembly election.
“The outcome of the presidential election, particularly, was not what the citizens expected, one of them said. ” And that is why most of them have decided to stay back since their votes will not count,”.
Some of those who voted in the last election but didn’t turn up for the state elections also told this reporter that they had lost hope and trust in the capacity of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to conduct free and fair polls.
As at the time of this report, voting was still ongoing and no violence has been recorded yet.
Heavy Security as Voting Commences in Lagos
Amidst heavy security, voting has commenced in Lagos.
The President -elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was one of the early voters as he voted at his Alausa, Ikeja polling unit at about 09.40 am.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has just voted.
THISDAY Correspondent, who visited Awolowo Way, Ikeja, Agege-Motor Road, Oshodi, Mushin and Lagos Island noticed heavy security presence, made up of men of the Nigerian Army at known flashpoints along the axis.
The soldiers were moving in armoured trucks.
Tinubu Votes Amid Heavy Security
President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu voted at 9.35 a.m. at Unit 085, Ward 03, Alausa, Ikeja amid tight security in the Governorship/National Assembly elections on Saturday.
Tinubu was accompanied by his wife, Oluremi and the Lagos Market leader, Chief Folashade Ojo.
Mr Dele Alake, his Media Spokesman, told journalists after he voted that the president-elect will not be able to grant interviews till later in the evening.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that barriers were used to demarcate the unit into sections and designated areas for voters, journalists and security operatives which is different from the previous situation.
NAN recalls that during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Feb. 25, hundreds of journalists and party supporters struggled to capture Tinubu’s arrival and voting.
INEC officials were early and had completely set up before 8 a.m.
At exactly 8.30 a.m, Miss Adebola Adeniyi, the Assistant Presiding Officer III, made announcement, showed empty ballot boxes and the BVAS Machine and read out the election guidelines.
She said 324 voters registered in the unit.
A combined team of Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, DSS, FRSC and Nigeria Immigration Service were on ground.
The heads of the various security organisations, including the commissioner of police inspected and patrolled the area before the arrival and departure of the president-elect. (NAN)
Large Turnout, Tight Security as Plateau Goes to Poll
Electoral officers in most polling units across Plateau conducted peaceful accreditations of voters and voting amid huge turnout of voters on Saturday for the state governorship and House of Assembly elections.
However, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that voters’ turnout was poor in Jos North Local Government when accreditations and voting had begun in other polling stations.
Some polling units in Kugiya, Bukuru and Dadin Kowa, in Jos-South began accreditations and votings immediately it was official time for the exercise.
The residents in Jos obeyed the restriction directive as most streets in the metropolis were deserted, no traffic and shops were locked up during the elections.
Most voters commended the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for arriving in polling stations promptly.
Voting began as scheduled in polling units 028 (Gut), 024 (Shaka) and 017 (Air force Primary School) all in old Airport Road amid tight security
Polling units in Kugiya, Bukuru Lowcost and Dadinkowa were set up before 8 a.m. awaiting the official time of 8.30 a.m. to begin accreditations.
The Presiding Officer in charge of polling unit 032, in Bukuru Lowcost , Mr Okoi Nsa, said that he and his team arrived as early as 7.15 a.m. to set up the place.
Similarly, the Presiding Officer in charge of polling unit 048, Dadinkowa, Miss Blessing Edoh, said that she was at the station as early as 6.30 a.m. to forestall a repeat of the incidence that occurred during the presidential and national assembly elections.
In polling units 043 and 006 at Kugiya, Jos South, as the polling units were set and the officers in charge were seen addressing the electorate before the commencement of the voting exercise.
Some of the electorate who spoke with NAN expressed satisfaction on the prompt arrival of the INEC officials, noting that this would enable the electorate to cast their votes within the stipulated time.
Mrs Garos Pam, an electorate, commended the INEC officials for coming out early as this has enabled her to cast her vote in good time.
Another voter, Mr Moses Bitrus, said that because the exercise commenced in time, he spent less than 10 minutes to cast his vote.
Miss Jummai Dalyop, said that the process this time was less cumbersome as compared to that of the presidential elections.
Another electorate, Mrs Joy Jacob said that this process would enable every eligible3 voter to cast their vote as the officials arrived early and the process was better.(NAN)
Awka Records Poor Voters Turnout
Turnout of voters in most polling units in Awka and environs for the March 18 State House of assembly election was very low, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Correspondent of NAN who visited some polling units within Awka township reports that electoral officials arrived before 8a.m. in most of the units.
The polling units visited include Awka South Aroma 1, PU. 002, Aroma 2, 008, Aroma 3, PU.007, Amudo Hall 2, PU 009, Ukwuorji 5, PU. 006, and Ogbugbankwa PU. 011.
Also at Adabebe Amawbia Polling units 1 and 2 Polling, Agu Awka 09 polling units 005 and 0012, the turnout was low, there were presence of security operatives and party agents.
Pastor Emeka Okoli, a voter at Aroma Awka 1 told NAN that the poor turnout was due to the poor handling of the Feb. 25 presidential and national assembly elections.
“As you can see many people are not here now, by this time during the last election, more than 150 people were already here.
“For people to show up in their numbers in future elections, INEC must make sure they stick to the rules”, he said.(NAN)
APC, PDP Agents Kick as Materials Arrive Bauchi Ward Late
Agents of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Saturday, decried late arrival of INEC officials and materials at Haruna Memorial Primary School ward 029,
The ward is in Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi state.
Speaking with newsmen, Mouktar Gidado, the PDP observer at the polling unit said he arrived at the venue exactly at 8am when election materials should have arrived.
“However, I don’t know why the materials arrived at 9:20am and voting has not yet commenced though the electoral officers are on ground now.
“I want to appeal to INEC that there should be a departure from late arrival of election materials. It is 9:30am and voters are still waiting”, he said.
Gidado, who is also the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State , said apart from the late arrival of election materials, everything was going on smoothly at the polling unit.
Also speaking, Abdullahi Gidado, the All Progressives Congress (APC) party agent at the polling unit, decried the late arrival of election materials.
He said some voters wanted to return home but he convinced them to stay.
“We have been waiting since 8am and they arrived at 9:20am. We hope that the election will commence soon as they have already set up the polling unit.
“Apart from the fact that INEC officials arrived late, there is no other issue here,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as at 10am, election had not commenced at the polling unit. (NAN)
Voting Starts Early in Nasarawa
Election officials arrived early for the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections in Motor Park 001 and 002 Polling Units Gudi, Akwanga Local Government Area (LGA), Nasarawa State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the polling units visited by its Correspondent, accreditation and voting began simultaneously at exactly 9:08am.
NAN also reports that Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) arrived most polling units around 8:30am and set up the place for voting.
Security agencies such as Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were present at the polling units to ensure security and to check vote buying. (NAN).
Materials Arrive, Voting Commences Early In Eket
Electoral materials arrived early in polling units in some parts of Eket Local Government Area of the state for governorship and House Assembly elections.
Mr Solomon Daudo, Polling Officer said that electoral materials arrived at Unit 18 one of the wards in Ward 4 Urban, Primary School Atai Ndon at7:20 a.m on Saturday
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Wards 4 Urban comprises five units which are units 3, 4, 17, 18 and 19.
Daudo said that everything was in place, as they were waiting for INEC authorisation to commence the election.
Mrs Dorathy Imoh, the polling officer said that electoral materials arrived polling units at 7:30 a.m.
She also that the security officers and party agents of different political parties were all on ground.
Mr Joseph Ekaette, Senior Polling Officer, (SPO) said electoral materials arrived Registration Area Technical Support (RATECH) centre Ikot Ibiok last night and distributed the materials before 7:30 a.m.
NAN reports that voting later commenced by 8:30 a.m. (NAN)
Large Voter Turn-Out in Kano Amidst Tight Security
A huge turnout of voters is being witnessed in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Kano as people troop out to exercise their franchise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that voters, especially in parts of Municipal and Nasarawa Local Government Areas thronged their polling units as early as 7 a.m.
The election personnel and materials also arrived as early as 8 a.m. to various polling centres especially at the Emir’s Palace, Kwalli Police Station, School For Arabic Studies and the Old Kano State Library.
Other polling units that witnessed the development were those located in Gidan Makama Primary School, Unguwar Gini Comprehensive Health Centre, Magwan Primary School and Government Junior Secondary School, Race Course.
Similarly, security was tight in all the areas visited with military personnel, the Police, Civil Defence, FRSC and other operatives manning major streets and screening people as they approached the polling stations. There was also compliance to the order restricting movement of unauthorized vehicles in the city with the streets virtually deserted.
Shops, shopping malls, restaurants and other places of human endeavour remained closed in compliance with the police order.
NAN also observed that voter turnout was impressive as people came out early to cast their votes under a conducive atmosphere. (NAN)
Large Turnout of Voters in Mafa, Zulum’s Hometown
There is large turnout of voters in Mafa, hometown of Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, as accreditation and voting in the March 18 governorship/state assembly elections start.
Mafa is the headquarters of Mafa Local Government Area of Borno, about 35km from Maiduguri.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent monitoring the exercise ine Mafa, reports that accreditation and voting started on time in most polling units in the town.
Some of the voters who spoke to NAN said the turnout was unprecedented compared to the last election because of improved mobilisation.
Bulama Abubakar, said after casting his vote that ”we trooped out to cast our votes in support of our son, Prof. Zulum because he is seeking reelection.”
He commended the early arrival of officials and election materials at many polling units in the town which he said was a big improvement to the Feb. 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
Also, Aisha Modu and Mustafa Lawan, said the large turnout was in solidarity for their son.
NAN correspondent who also monitored the exercise in Jere Local Government Area, however, reports that many voters were still waiting for arrival of officials and materials in some polling units in the area.
“It is already 9.30 a.m. but we are still waiting for the officials to come,” said Abubakar Ibrahim, a voter at a polling unit in Mairi ward of Jere LGA. (NAN)
Police Arrest Armed Thugs in Anambra
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Anambra State Police Command has arrested five persons suspected to be thugs, mobilized to disrupt elections in the state.
According to a short text message from the command’s spokesperson, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the men were arrested in Ihiala, with four pump action rifles recovered from them.
Ikenga said: “Five armed thugs were arrested in Ihiala and four pump actions recovered.”
CP Aderemi Adeoye, who is heading the command’s personnel on election duty, was also quoted to have said that thuggery will not be allowed during the election.
Go Out and Vote, Adeleke Calls on Osun Residents
Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has called on residents of the state to go out and cast their vote, assuring them of safety and security.
Speaking early Saturday morning at his country home in Ede, the governor said:
“You are still at home? Come out now and use your PVC as a democrat. It is safe outside. Exercise your right to vote and be voted for.
“Don’t be scared to abandon your right to vote. Security agencies are in top form to ensure that your vote and my vote count. I have issued relevant directives to service commanders to secure lives and properties as we all vote today.
“I need you good people of Osun State to vote massively. If you love democracy and good governance, stand up now and face your polling units.”
High Turn-out of Voters in Osogbo Metropolis
Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
There is high turn-out of voters in the governorship and state Assembly elections in Osogbo metropolis in Osun State, while security personnel are also present to maintain law and order.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Musbaudeed Ayodele Kusamotu, who spoke with THISDAY, urged the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free and fair polls.
He advised voters to be mature in the course of the exercise and avoid trouble.
Voting is already in progress in some wards with security personnel on ground to provide adequate security for voters.
Some of the wards visited are wards 3 unit 8 in Osogbo Local Government, wards 3 unit 3 Agana in Olorunda Local Government, Ward 1 Ataoja A, unit, polling unit 3 and ward 4 Fagbewesa, Osogbo.
Low Turnout of Voters in Anambra
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
There is a low turnout of voters in Anambra State in 5oday Assembly election, compared to the large number of people that thronged polling centres for the Presidential election three weeks ago.
Polling centres visited in Awka, the state capital, showed near empty units as staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, sat idly.
At Aroma junction 1, polling unit 008, Awka South Local Government Area, as at 9:20pm, only six persons had been able to vote, despite the commencement of voting at 8:30am, and the swiftness of the BVAS machines.
A voter, Mrs Chika Ndu told our correspondent that: “People are not coming out because they feel their votes may not count because of what happened last three weeks.
“It will take a level of enlightenment for people to accept to come out, because they believe their votes will not count.
“I cannot believe that this same place where I found it difficult to cast my vote last three weeks, I can just come in and in less than three minutes, I had cast my vote.”
Another respondent, a journalist, Mr Damian Egwuonwu, said: “I think it is early, people will still come out.”
Polling Units Open Early in Minna
* Agents absent in centres visited
* Poor voter turnout
Laleye Dipo in Minna
Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC opened the various polling units in Minna the Niger state as early as 8am.
However party agents were absent at the polling units visited as at 8:45am, resulting in polling not commencing.
At Umoru Audi primary school, polling officials arrived at 8am to set up for the election with only about 10 voters around.
All party agents were absent at the unit, so polling could not start .
“We are waiting for the agents, even if we have one agent we will start, Aliyu, a polling official said.
In other areas, polling started at 8.30am but with few voters on the queue.
THISDAY observed non compliance with restriction of movements ordered by the police.
Voting Commences in Anambra
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Voting has started in Anambra State for the House of Assembly elections.
Polling centres visited by THISDAY within Awka, the state capital showed that as early as 8:30am, most of the centres visited had started voting.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner Mrs Elizabeth Agwu had in a press conference on Friday said that the commission was ready, and that voting would start early.
Observation also showed that the BVAS had been very swift in capturing voters.
Accreditation, Voting Commence in Sokoto
By Onuminya Innocent In Sokoto
Voters in Sokoto State came out as early as 6am in to queue at polling units as they awaited the arrival of electoral officials.
Accreditation and voting commenced at 8am
at Gwiwa extension, behind Umaru Ali Shinkafi Polytechnic, College of Administration .
A voter Murtala Yakubu told our correspondent that he was eager to elect who will pilot the affairs of the state for the next four years.
INEC Disowns Fake ID for Security Personnel on Election Duty
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has distanced itself from a fake identify card for security personnel on election duty.
The commission did this in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in Abuja.
Okoye said INEC’s attention had been drawn to an identity card for security personnel bearing the name and logo of the Commission with the inscription “Complete Access” boldly written in red at the bottom of it.
“We wish to state categorically that the identity card did not emanate from the Commission. Identity cards for security personnel on election duty were issued by the security agencies and not the Commission.
“Anyone bearing an identity card allegedly issued by the Commission for security personnel can only be on illegal duty. Such a person is liable to arrest and prosecution.
“The public Is alerted to this diabolical action of some misdirected elements and to report any such person to the security agencies,” Okoye said.(NAN)
Tension As 28 States Elect Governors
•Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Sokoto, Delta, Rivers, Benue, Plateau are battle grounds
•993 state assembly seats also to be filled today
•INEC promises uploading of results from polling units to Result Viewing Portal real time
Voters in 28 states across Nigeria will today file out to elect governors who will run their affairs for the next four years, effective May 29.
There will also be voting into 993 state assembly seats across the 36 states of the federation in this rescheduled governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after a slipshod performance at the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, largely due to failure to transmit and collate results electronically as assured, promised an improved performance today.
INEC’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu vowed that today’s polls will be free and fair.
Yakubu urged parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war and to “refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers.”
By yesterday morning, INEC had concluded the distribution of sensitive materials for the governorship and house of assembly elections to all the wards.
INEC Promises to Upload Results Real Time
Yesterday, INEC gave an insight into how polling unit results will be transmitted during today’s governorship elections.
The Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, while speaking on Arise News said “the law as of today prescribes a dual mode of either transmission of results or transfer of results.”
He said when polls closed at the level of the various units, the Presiding Officer who superintended the polling unit would enter the scores of the various political parties in form EC8A which is the polling unit level result.
“The PO will sign that particular result sheet and stamp it, the PU agent or party agent if available will also countersign and copies will be given to them and the police.
“That original result is what will be scanned and uploaded to our INEC Result Viewing Portal for public viewing. Not only that, the accreditation data that has arisen from that polling unit will also be uploaded, but the physical result and the BVAS itself will also be taken to the Registration Area Collation centre,” said Okoye.
According to him, the Collation Officer will have the benefit of seeing the original results and the BVAS itself and have the benefit of looking at the accreditation data as transmitted, and the result sheet as transmitted from the polling unit.
“That is the dual mode which the law has prescribed for the commission and that is the mode that we’re going to use for the purpose of this election,” said Okoye.
Speaking on real-time IREV delivery on Saturday, Okoye said results would be transmitted as soon as the polls closed from various polling units.
“The commission is determined to improve on its previous performance. What we have done is to learn valuable lessons from previous elections that we conducted, and we’re going to put those lessons into our planning purposes and processes, and into our deployment purposes,” Okoye said.
On INEC’s readiness, he said, “In all the states of the federation, both the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines and all the sensitive election materials have left the Central Bank and the various state offices of the federation.
“We want to ensure that all polling units open on time. Secondly, we made sure that we reconfigured all the BVAS that will be used for this particular election in terms of making sure that the BVAS perform optimally and also making sure that some of the challenges we had in the previous elections do not reoccur.”
Police Pledge Tight Security
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, is deploying over 400,000 officers and men for today’s operation.
Baba, who urged voters to come out and vote without fear, promised tight security.
He has also ordered the restriction of all forms of vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation, from 12 am to 6 pm on Saturday in all states where elections will be conducted.
Baba said those on essential services such as officials of INEC, electoral observers, accredited media and observers, ambulances responding to medical emergencies, firefighters, amongst others are exempted from the restriction.
He noted that the directive excludes the Federal Capital Territory, as no election is being conducted therein.
The IGP reiterated the ban on all security aides to VIPs and escorts from accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres during the election.
State-established and owned security outfits/organizations, quasi-security units, and privately-owned guard and security outfits are also barred from participating in election security management.
The IGP has also extended additional human and logistic support to police commands and formations across the country for effective election security management today.
The additional support includes the deployment of personnel, operational vehicles, non-lethal weapons, personal protective equipment (body armour), and anti-riot equipment among others.
It’s a three-horse race in God’s own State. Incumbent Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP is pushing for his former Chief of Staff, Okey Ahiwe to succeed him.
This appears to be in danger because of Ikpeazu’s poor performance in the last eight years.
The bad situation is at a boiling point in this state. Teachers and civil servants are owed backlog of salaries, pensioners not paid, tertiary institutions losing accreditation, and all forms of development arrested, while political office holders and their families flourish.
This anger of the masses has already claimed the ambition of the Ikpeazu who desired to retire to the Senate but was trounced at the polls.
The PDP has Alex Otti of the LP and Ikechi Emmenike of the APC to contend with. The LP has upset the apple cart in several states and Otti who is riding the crest of the euphoria appears set to clinch the prize in Abia State. Emmenike of the APC will no doubt give him a good fight. It’s too close to call here.
The state parades an array of strong contestants with front runners being Peter Mbah of PDP, Chijioke Edeoga of Labour Party and Frank Nweke of APGA.
Mbah enjoys a broad spectrum of support from political bigwigs in the state and with the state treasury at his disposal, being the candidate of the sitting governor and the state being a PDP state for long, Mbah who also parades a personal war chest will give a good fight.
However, Edeoga of the Labour Party might ride on the back of the tsunami sweeping through the political space, added to the sympathy of having their senatorial candidate murdered, to clinch the coveted seat, especially as the Labour Party is wearing the messianic toga now.
Frank Nweke, who even some “Obidients” favour because of his past records, is also a strong contender which also makes the state a battleground, especially as the state is known for its violent disposition of some old politicians. Allegations of arms stockpiling is already rife and it will be a tough fight between PDP struggling to retain the state and LP/APGA bent on wresting it from them.
This is an APC state with a gladiator in the person of Rabiu Kwankwaso that has moved to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of APC, though none of them is on the ballot.
While Kwankwaso who swept the presidential ballot in Kano is supporting Abba Yusuf, Ganduje is backing Yusuf Gawuna.
The candidates of the governor and Kwankwaso are not only contesting but there is an ego war of who has the bragging rights over the state. Kano State is too close to call. The prize can go either way.
There is a marked departure from the past as a Catholic Priest, Father Hyacinth Alia, contesting under the APC, survived all intrigues to hold on to the ticket, while Herman Hembe latching on to the Labour Party’s acceptance to struggle to be elected governor to succeed Samuel Ortom, one of the G5 governors that bloodied the nose of their party over power shift to the South.
Ortom, who lost his senatorial election, would strive to ensure his candidate of the PDP, Titus Uba wins, so there won’t be a double loss of his seat and that of his successor. Allegations of arming youths to steal mandates are rife in Benue. It’s a three-horse race here and too close to call.
Since Governor Dave Umahi moved over to the APC on account of complaints of inequity in PDP, Ebonyi was suddenly racked by spates of violence and the governor is one to ram through his wish on issues of interest.
So, it is expected that he may, against all odds, do everything he can to deliver Mr. Francis Nwifuru to succeed him.
Umahi however has Chief Francis Odii of the PDP to contend with in a predominantly PDP State before Umahi jumped ship.
On the shadows to spring surprises might be Labour Party’s candidate, Chief Edward Nkwegu who is riding on the back of Peter Obi and his Obidients. As usual, violence will make or mar the outcome of the contest. Nwifuru of the APC may pick this ticket.
Old rivalries have been rekindled as former governor Rotimi Amaechi and incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike have squared up again with their support for candidates of their parties and brickbats are flying, often leaving issues to attack personalities.
Wike is pushing Similaye Fubara for his party, PDP, which he had campaigned vigorously against in the presidential election over the sharing of party positions, while Amaechi came back in full force leading the campaigns for APC, which fortune had dwindled with exit of many members over choice of candidates, with his candidate, Tonye Cole.
The presidential election saw a lot of violence when their direct interests were not at stake, and this signposts what will happen today. Candidates were attacked with dynamites and guns during campaigns so worse would be expected today as Wike will struggle to break the jinx of Rivers State governors not being able to determine their successors.
Senator Magnus Abe of Social Democratic Party (SDP) is also in the race and can make the contest to go anyplace.
It is going to be a straight battle between incumbent Seyi Makinde of PDP and Teslim Folarin of APC.
Makinde, being a G5 member that dared the party, is not enjoying the backing of some of Oyo PDP big wigs.
Even with being an incumbent, with some of the parties collapsing their structure for him, Makinde still does not have that edge. Folarin is looking good for the Oyo State governorship.
With Governor Simon Lalong’s failure to grab his senatorial seat, his quest to determine who takes over from him has become a serious agenda.
So far, his candidate, Dr. Nantwe Yilwada of the APC has Caleb Muftwang of PDP and Yohanna Margif of Labour Party to slug it out with, given their performances during the presidential elections. Margif has been bogged down by court orders which were cleared a few days ago.
With the backing of the incumbent governor, APC will strive to retain the state which has been a core PDP state till Lalong took it to APC.
Also, the general acceptance of the Labour Party in Plateau and the performance of its presidential candidate in the last election may throw up some upsets in favour of the Labour Party. Muftwang looks determined to return Plateau to the PDP. But anything can still happen in Plateau State today.
The loss of Lagos by the APC to little known LP in the Presidential election threw up a gamut of variables which sent strategists hurrying back to the drawing board.
Whereas Lagos was seen as tug of war between the APC and their usual PDP, what could be a rib excised from PDP ended up causing an upset that has made the poster boy of Lagos, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to start losing sleep due to the possibility of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the LP upstaging him.
This factor has seen a flurry of activities in churches, football stunts and visits to places that ordinarily would not be contemplated.
Later statements by Rhodes-Vivour that he was going to open the account books of Lagos for people to see how funds of the state had been applied will definitely lead to a do or die contest. Moreso, when it comes with the threat that may smear reputations. The heat is already on in the state with threats of Oro cult and warnings to non-Yorubas not to rock the boat.
As for Delta State, apart from being the sitting Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa was also Atiku’s running mate, and the least expected from him was to deliver maximum votes in the Presidential election. However, he managed to garner 161,600 votes, trailing the LP by a distance.
Okowa will be fighting today to take his preferred candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, to the Delta State Government House, Asaba.
Apart from the rising popularity of the Labour Party, Okowa also has the candidate of the APC and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege to contend with.
With PDP chieftains, including the former governor of the state, James Ibori, and Senator James Manager both working at cross purposes with the Okowa administration, it would be interesting to see which of the parties have the last laugh today. It’s a three-horse here.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State may have won the North-west state for Atiku and his PDP in the February 25 presidential election. Yet, a dark cloud of uncertainty hangs over the governorship election. Today’s voting will be a keenly contested poll between Saidu Umar of the PDP and the APC’s Ahmad Aliyu. The race is too close to call in Sokoto State.
In Kaduna State, Governor Nasir el-rufai will require a miracle to determine his successor.
El-rufai and the APC were badly trounced in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections by the PDP, making today’s election a tough one for his favoured Ubah Sani. Isah Ashiru of the PDP will give el-rufai’s man a good run for his money. Victory can go either way. The race is too close to call in Kaduna State.