Enugu State LG poll: Accreditation, voting, did not commence as scheduled

Voting and accreditation for the Enugu State Saturday’s Local Government Election did not commence as scheduled because of late arrival of materials.

The election was scheduled to commence by 8 a.m. and end by 4 p.m.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that as at 8 a.m. material were  yet to leave the local government headquarters to the polling units for the council election.

The Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) had said that it moved the sensitive and non-sensitive materials to the councils’ headquarters by 9 p.m on Friday.

It also said it handed over the result sheets to the electoral officers in the presence of the divisional police officers and heads of sister security agencies at 7.30 a.m on Saturday.

But, ENSIEC Chairman, Dr Mike Ajogwu, attributed the late arrival of materials and polling officials to lack of adequate security personnel to accompany the sensitive materials, especially the result sheets to the wards and units.

Ajogwu said that some politicians insisted that they would not vote until they see the result sheets.

“We do not have enough police personnel to accompany the sensitive materials to the polling units and we will not use any individual expect police officers,” he said.

However, Mr Tochukwu Isife, the PDP Legal Adviser in Eke Ward 1, appealed to the electorate to exercise patience because the commission had made adequate provisions for the local government poll to be free, fair and credible.

Mr Ejike Anigbo and Mrs Uzoamaka Offor, who were at the unit for the exercise, expressed disappointment at the poor preparation by ENSIEC.

“We don’t understand why materials have not arrived as at 11 a.m. for just local government election,” they said.

Also, a collation officer at Achara Layout, Mr Pascal Obi, decried the delay, adding that people could not be compelled to wait longer than necessary.

At Nsukka, NAN reports that the distribution of materials were still ongoing as at 9:14 a.m. under the watchful eyes of Nsukka DPO, Mr Charles Dyike, PDP and APC stakeholders.

The APC local government party chairman, Mr Joseph Ugwuoke and his PDP counterpart, Mr Fabian Onah, were among stakeholders.

Also at Igbo Etiti Local Government Area, materials were yet to arrive at the 20 wards as at 9:17 a.m. and the turnout of voters for the poll was low.

Meanwhile a former council leader in Enugu North, Mrs Cathrine Ayogu, has appealed to voters to exercise patience as the election officials and materials would soon arrive.

Ayogu said that everybody that turned out would cast his or her vote, adding that there was no cause to panic because ENSIEC made adequate preparation for the exercise.

NAN reports that at Enugu North ward 11, voters were seen waiting to cast their voters. (NAN)