Voters in the rerun election for Orumba North/South Federal Constituency in Anambra State on Saturday decried late arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and materials.
Our correspondents who visited Polling Units 001, 007, 011, 012, 005, 015, 010, all in Nanka, Orumba North LGA, reports that as at 9a.m., officials of the electoral umpire were nowhere to be found.
The electoral officials arrived the various polling units with their materials at 9.38.a.m and 10.a.m.,while the electorates waited patiently.
One of the electoral officials who pleaded anonymity explained that they had the electoral materials ready for the electioneering process at 7:am at Ajali, but there was transportation challenge to the polling units.
At the time of filling this report, voting commenced precisely 10:11.am as voters queued to cast their votes.
Speaking to reporters after casting his vote at Nanka ward 001 PU 015, at 11:12 a.m, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, People Democratic Party candidate in the rerun election, decried the late commencement of the election in most parts of the area.
He urged other eligible voters to come out and exercise their civic obligations.
“The the process started very late in many polling units. I was here around 9a.m., but the INEC officials had not arrived. I’m appeal to INEC to extend the time so as to accommodate many eligible voters.
“From the information available to me, the electoral process seems to be going on peaceful and well in terms of deployment and functionality of the electoral materials.
“I want to commend our people for conducting themselves peacefully so far,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Damian Nze, a 73-year old retiree an PU 001, described the election as serious business to him, saying that was the reason he waited patiently for INEC officials to arrive.
“I arrived the polling units around 8:30a.m. and waited until INEC officials arrived at 10a.m. That is how important this election is to me.
“With the turn out here, you can see that our people are also eager to cast their votes and thank God it has been peaceful so far,”he said.
Another resident, Mrs Cecilia Ekezie said she arrived the polling unit early and waited about two hours before the arrival of INEC officials.
There was massive turnout of voters in many polling units visited with a corresponding heavy presence of Security operatives; the Army Police, DSS and Civil Defence to prevent break down of law and order at the polling units.