Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State was marked by late arrival of voting materials in parts of Edo South, as some of the voters, who arrived very early at polling booths, waited for hours to be accredited.
Accreditation had yet to start at 9 am in most of the polling stations in Benin City, but voters had turned up in large number, waiting for officials of the Independent Electoral Commission officials and materials.
At the Garrick Memorial Secondary School on Ekenwan Road, Benin City, voters expressed disappointment with the late arrival of materials, which held up the accreditation.
The situation was the same at Niger College, Benin, where a large number of voters waited in vain to be accredited as election materials did not arrive on schedule.
Former Director-General of the defunct Centre for Democratic Studies, Prof. Omo Omoruyi, who voted in Benin, however, said the exercise went well in his area.
In a text message at 1:55 pm, Omoruyi said, “I’ve voted and everything looked okay.”
The situation was a little different in Edo Central and Edo North as accreditation began around 8 am at various polling units, which had a large turnout of prospective voters.
At one of the polling centres close to the residence of the late Chief of General Staff, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, in Irrua, Esan Central Local Government, and Iruekpen, voters formed long queues for accreditation.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who arrived at Ward 10, Unit I, Iyhamo Primary School, in Etsako Local Government at about 10:30 am for accreditation, eventually performed the exercise over an hour later.
At about 12:40 pm, when accreditation ended at the polling centre, 575 persons were accredited, out of 1,043 that registered at the unit.
The governor, who cast his vote at 12:55 pm, however expressed disappointed with the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over reports that prospective voters could not be accredited in various parts of Benin and Oredo.
Voting however started around 1 pm in Oredo, Egor, Uhunwode, Orhionmwon and Ikpoba/Okha LGAs in Edo South Senatorial zone.
There was also an unconfirmed report of ballot box snatching at Ugu village in Orhionmwon Local Government.
Names of registered voters missing
At Ward 6, Egba, Uhunwode LG, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Samson Osagie, who voted at 2:15 pm, said materials and INEC officials arrived on time.
But at Community Primary School, Oye, New Benin, Oredo, Ward 7, accreditation was still going on as at 2:30 pm.
Voters who could not find their names and pictures on the voter register refused to leave Garrick Memorial, the venue where PDP candidate, Charles Airhiavbere, was expected to vote.
Airhiavbere said such error was not “abnormal.”
Some aggrieved voters at Ward 12, Oredo LG, who could not locate their names