Violence and voter apathy characterised the gubernatorial and National Assembly elections held across the country yesterday.

It was a straight fight between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the federal level and the opposition All Progressives Party (APC) whose candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), won the March 28 presidential election.

In yesterday’s elections, violence rocked at least seven states across the country leading to 16 deaths.

Five persons were feared  killed in Benue; four in Kebbi; two, each, in Rivers and Lagos; and one, each,  in  Plateau, Bauchi and Ebonyi.

President Goodluck  Jonathan blamed the low turnout in his native Bayelsa on the non-holding of the gubernatorial election in the state.

Only the House of Assembly election took place in the state.

The European Union Chief Observer to the elections, Santiago Fisas, also lament the poor voter turnout at the polls.

As the results of the elections began to trickle in, last night, reports said Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti won 25 of the 26 legislative seats in the state assembly for his  party, the PDP, leaving one seat for Labour Party (LP).

Only the legislative election held in Ekiti.

Meanwhile, Governor Rotimi Amaechi  faulted the conduct of the elections in Rivers State, describing it as a sham.

He also alleged that his phone number was claimed by some people to send text messages to APC supporters to ask them to ask to boycott the polls, saying it was a ploy to give advantage to the PDP in the elections.

The gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wiki, immediately countered Amaechi, saying all was well with the polls in the state.

Benue:  monarch, four others killed

In Benue State, the district head of Utange in Ushongo local government area, Zaki Joseph Kumbur, and four others were reported to have been killed, before and during the elections apparently marred by low turn out of voters.

This came just as INEC offices in Tarka and Ushongo local government areas were said to have been attacked by suspected hoodlums who also snatched ballot boxes in several polling units around Makurdi, the state capital, and in parts of the state in the wave of crisis and violence that affected the polls in the state.

The breakdown of the reported killings showed that two persons were shot dead in Zaki-Biam in Ukum local government area, one gunned down at the North Bank area of Makurdi  and another killed in Gwer local government area.

“A young man, who was a kingpin in North Bank, also popularly known as ‘Almighty’, was shot in the head following disagreement with members of his gang over sharing of money”, a source said.

“In Zaki-Biam, there was sporadic shooting in the main town on the eve of the election. Two persons were discovered dead today (Saturday).

“In Gwer, a medical practitioner (names withheld) was reported to have been arrested over the alleged killing of a voter who he allegedly stabbed to death after a heated argument.”

Sunday Vanguard learnt that the Utange district head, Kumbur, was killed, Friday night in his residence by unknown armed men who stormed the place in a commando fashion.

“His death may not be unconnected with the wave of political disagreements that have characterized elections in that part of the state”, said our source.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ozi Obih said, the Zaki-Biam incident was a political stampede while the North Bank shooting was as a result of disagreement among friends but added that he was yet to get the confirmation of deaths.

Kebbi: Four feared killed by soldiers

In Kebbi State, soldiers allegedly killed four voters in Bayan Dutse Polling Unit, Ginga Ward in Suru Local Government Area.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Nafiu Abubakar, confirmed the incident to journalists.

“Yes, we have received report of four people allegedly killed by soldiers.  I will give you details of the killings as soon we conclude our investigation,” he said.

The House of Representative member-elect, representing Suru/Bagudo federal constituency, Abdullahi Suru, also confirmed this to journalists.

He said the incident happened around noon, yesterday, as accreditation was going on in the area, which predominantly has supporters of the APC.

“A serving Area Development councillor, Ahmed Sankezu, invited the soldiers to arrest some prominent elders in the area because he was earlier prevented from accessing the PU to perfect their rigging plan”, he added.

The Army Headquarters said it didn’t have information on the incident yet.

Ebonyi: PDP chairman shot dead

Police IG Sulaiman Abba
Police IG Sulaiman Abba

In Ebonyi State, the Chairman of the PDP  in Ishielu Local Government Area, Emeka Nworie, was reportedly killed by suspected political thugs in the early hours of yesterday.

Police spokesperson, Chris Anyanwu, confirmed to Channels Television that Nworie was attacked in his house in Ezzagu where he was shot several times.

According to  Anyanwu, the incident took place around 3am. He said the attackers had asked for money from their victim, which was given to them, after which they still went ahead to kill him.

The State has had its share of political violence in the run-up to the general  elections. Only recently, two people were killed in Ikwo following a clash between the supporters of the PDP and Labour Party.

Lagos: 2 corpses linked to polls

*Tinubu, Bode George bicker on manipulations

In Lagos State, the governorship and legislative elections were marred by apathy  in most areas despite the significant improvement in logistic management for the polls.

Two corpses found in Oshodi and along Apapa – Oshodi Road were also linked to the polls.The accreditation and voting processes were most uneventfully in many polling stations. There were no incidents or problems with the card reader and queues were absent as people went home after accreditation and came back to vote in the afternoon.

However, leaders of the two major parties in the state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC and Chief Bode George of the PDP, in separate interviews, alleged conspiracies directed against their parties.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, REC, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, however, washed the INEC from all such allegations, saying the conduct of yesterday’s polls was a significant improvement on the presidential and National Assembly elections. According to him, the commission was able to come out with the improvements after internal deliberations.

Speaking to reporters after casting his vote at about 1.45 p.m. at Polling Unit  047, Sunday Adigun Street, Alausa, Ikeja,  Tinubu flayed what he described as the deliberate attempt to intimidate voters against the APC.

“Throughout the week before the election, there were lots of gunshots across the state. That is scary to the people and that is why they didn’t even come out. That is the method of rigging,” he said.

APC leader also alleged that the PDP-led Federal Government relegated the Lagos Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Kayode Aderanti, to the level of an area commander to enable it perfect it’s plan to compromise the elections.

According to him, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, took over the commissioner’s functions.

He, however, commended the improvement in the conduct of the elections as compared with the presidential  and National Assembly polls two weeks ago.

The assertions of manipulations were, however, dismissed by Lagos PDP leader, Chief Bode George. Speaking to Sunday Vanguard shortly after  voting at Evans Street, George described Tinubu’s allegations as laughable.

He said: “Who said it? Is it Bola or their noise maker? If it is their noise maker, he is from another planet. They wanted the government and they have gotten it. You cannot continuously be lying to yourself. We are trying to rig, with whom and for what? 16 years, they stayed on the saddle here in Lagos, what is the outcome? The people say they are tired of the APC and they are hounding them out of the system. The APC says we want to rig, let them say that to the marines, they are clowns”.

The accusation was also dismissed by the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Mr. Tunji Shelle.

The Minister of State for foreign affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on his part, accused the APC of waging a war of intimidation against PDP supporters.

When asked if the alleged intimidation was responsible for the voter apathy, he said “it could be.”

His words: “Don’t forget that some sections of our soceity were threatened with death. To that extent, we have to take stock of what transpired in Lagos. From the feedback, it could be responsible.”

Governor Babatunde Fashola  refused to be dragged into arguments on the cause of the apathy by voters. He, however, expressed his optimism that the APC governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, would win the polls.

“I am always optimistic of any contest. I am optimistic Ambode will emerge the winner,” the governor said after voting in Surulere.

His deputy, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, told Sunday Vanguard at her polling unit at Egbeda Round-About in Alimosho that voters thought the presidential election was more important than the governorship.

She also pointed at improvements in the functionality of the card reader and other logistics.

The Deputy Governor, however, dismissed the allegation that many non-indigenes did not turn out because of the threat by the Oba of Lagos.

“He was not a politician or an APC member. Besides, that issue was resolved before the election. I think that basically, people wanted change at the centre and that was why they came out en-masse to vote during the last election. They must have already concluded that continuity be sustained at the state level”, she added.

The PDP governorship candidate in the state, Mr Jimi Agbaje, had, at the beginning of the day, expressed concern on the apathy by voters. Agbaje spoke to newsmen when he did his accreditation at Ward 2 Polling Unit 009, Duala/Abraham Adesanya Street, Apapa.

Police commissioner parades Lagos

The Lagos Police Commissioner, Aderanti, yesterday, paraded Lagos during the elections, spending time around Alimosho and arresting vehicles that were not on special duty that dared to come out.

Financial inducement/refreshments

Sunday Vanguard observed some refreshments in certain centres during the accreditation process and voters alleged some youths came out and shared money to voters on voting grounds. Some voters collected the money and some turned it down. In the same vein, some voters collected the refreshments and some turned them down according to our sources. One source said,” I cannot be bought with money. This is one decision I have taken upon myself and nobody will swing my votes to favour his candidate. I didn’t take their money. And I didn’t take any refreshment from them. Am I a hungry man to be swayed by a bottle of La Casera and doughnut?”

Rivers: Deaths amid heavy shootings

*Amaechi, Wike disagree

In Rivers State, heavy shooting was reported in Ozuoba and Rumuolumeni in Obio Akpor Local Government Area.

Soldiers moved into Buguma in Asari Toru LGA where two persons were feared dead, also amid heavy shooting  allegedly by political thugs. A police patrol vehicle, the house of the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Joeba West, and INEC polling centre in Kalabari National College in the town were  razed by unknown arsonists.

It was learnt that about 80 per cent of the card readers deployed in Okrika were not working.

Wike and Peterside
Wike and Peterside

Failure of card readers on massive scale was also reported in Abua Odua LGA where polling officers resorted to Incident Forms.

Meanwhile, Governor Chibuike Amaechi described the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections in the state as a sham, saying they were marred by ballot papers snatching and hijacking of other sensitive materials of INEC.

He also alleged that his phone number was cloned by people who used it to send text messages to APC members in the state not to participate in the elections.  Amaechi spoke shortly after he was accredited at his ward in Ubima community in Ikwerre local government area. His wife was also accredited.

Chief Press Secretary to the governor,  Mr. David Iyofor, quoted his principal as saying the election was a failed exercise going by reports available to him from several parts of  Rivers.

“From what we saw on our way to Ubima and reports we got from across the state, it is unfortunate this can happen”, he said. In a related development, the leader of APC in Obio Akpor LGA, Chief Tony Okocha, alleged that result sheets for nine wards in the local government were missing.

According to him, they were replaced with cloned result sheets.

Continuing, he said he had directed members of the party to only vote when they see authentic result sheets, adding that he had also complained to the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dame Gecilia Khan.

“Our people will go and vote but they should counter sign result sheets if we must vote.

Result sheets for Wards 9, 10, 11,17,13,8,2 and12 are missing”, the APC leader stated.

“I have sent text messages to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Gecilia Khan, and Professor Olurinde, sent by the  Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  Prof Atahiru Jega.

“These are th e results we know that have been taking. They replaced them with cloned results. We are ready for the elections. But the REC should counter sign the result sheets”.

The PDP candidate in the gubernatorial election in Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, hails from Obio Akpor LGA.

About 50 heavily armed soldiers mounted heavy blockade around the family residence of the governorship candidate.

Vehicles were thoroughly searched before being allowed to drive through Wipey Junction, a very busy intersection close to the family residence.

At about 6.40am, the soldiers were emptying sand bags from one of their trucks.

Pedestrians were seen raising their hands as they walked past the soldiers who took strategic positions with their rifles.

Wike dismissed the claim by Amaechi that the elections were a sham.

The gubernatorial candidate, who said the governor should not be taken seriously, urged politicians in Rivers to emulate Jonathan who conceded defeat in the presidential election.

“Which election has he (Amaechi) not described as a sham?   He dismissed the presidential election as a sham but when Buhari won, did he not say it was an act of God?”, he said.

He accused the governor of allegedly going round some wards in Obio Akpor local government area, adding that he disrupted the election in Ward 12.

Wike also said INEC had postponed elections in Wards 15 and 16   in the local government area.

Some voters reportedly protested against the presence of  Amaechi in some wards in Omagwa in Ikwerre local government area, saying he should go to Ubima where he registered.

The governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said accreditation for the election went on smoothly in his Opobo community at the time he spoke to newsmem.

He, however,  alleged that about seven members of his party were killed in Ogba Egbema Ndoni local government area. This, however, could not be confirmed from the police at press time.

He also alleged that materials were hijacked in several parts of the state.

Senator Magnus Abe, who represents Rivers South-East in the Senate, made similar allegations about Gokhana,   saying the elections did not hold there.

Minister of State for Industry,   Chief Kenneth Kobani, countered Abe, maintaining that the elections went on smoothly in several areas of Gokhana local government area.

Plateau: Party supporter shot dead

In Plateau State, voting was nearly marred at the Sarkin Arab Ward and environs when a young man at nearby Ali Kazaure Polling Station in Jos North Local Government Area was shot dead by a security operative.

The deceased was said to be a supporter of one of the political parties and was engaging a supporter of another party in a scuffle before the security personnel standing by intervened to end the quarrel.

In the course of the scuffle, the deceased allegedly drew out a knife but as a soldier tried to take the weapon from him. He was said to have struggled with the soldier and this infuriated the soldier who fired at him.

The timely intervention of other security agents saved the situation and normalcy was restored in the area and elections continued.

Spokesman for the Special Task Force, STF, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, who confirmed the incident, described it as unfortunate, adding that the man engaged soldiers in a fight when they tried to intervene to prevent him from stabbing his opponent.

Meanwhile, card reader yesterday, for the second time, failed to authenticate Governor Jonah Jang, and his wife, Ngo Talatu,   at their Ladura I Polling Unit in Jos South, Local Government Area of the state.

Jang and his wife had to fill incident form for accreditation just like they did during the presidential and National Assembly elections. Speaking with newsmen after filling the incident   form, Jang said   “I am impressed with the turnout of citizens.

The exercise was generally peaceful and orderly in polling units monitored in local government areas in Plateau North and Plateau Central zones of the state and officials of the Independent INEC and election materials arrived the various polling units early compared to what was experienced during the March 28, polls.

Turnout was impressive as people were seen being accredited as early as 8am but the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Gyang Pwajok, who spoke with journalists, lamented that his wife and many others were deprived of voting by INEC because of the insistence on permanent voter cards, PVCs.

At the central zone, card readers were generally functioning well as hitches seen during the March, 28 polls were not witnessed in all polling units visited while voters were queuing orderly for accreditation.

Bauchi: Councillor beaten to death

In Bauchi State, the chairperson of Bogoro Local Government Area, Hassana Arkila, confirmed the death of  the PDP councilor for Gizaki/Badagari Ward, Mr Musa Daniel, saying he was beaten to death by angry youths while on electoral duty.

Arkila described  the attack on the councilor as unfortunate and linked the incident to saboteurs of democracy.

She said :” I want to confirm the death of a PDP councilor who was beaten to death by irate youths. l am assuring the people of the state  that the full wrath of law will catch up with the attackers”.

The chairperson appealed to the perpetrators of the dastardly act to sheath their sword and embrace peace, saying violence is not  the  solution to political differences.

“The death of the councillor is a signal that the APC is afraid of losing the electoral process. I ask  for calm among PDP supporters”, she added.

Meanwhile, voting commenced in some polling units in the state as early as 9.00 am but there was low turn out of voters.

Some of polling units where voting commenced early are El-duniya, Daníyae and Lido Hotel polling units.

The Presiding Officer at El-duniya polling unit, Abba John, said  they combined accreditation and voting because of the few numbers of voters.

He said: “We had fewer numbers of voters unlike the presidential election when we had large turn out.

The electorate and parties agents agreed that voting should commence so that we don’t stay idle”.

When asked if their action was right, John said: “Though it’s wrong, INEC told us to give the voters what they want; that is why we agreed to do it”.

The APC and PDP agents at the polling unit, Kingsley Oyenka  and Musa Liman, respectively, said they agreed on the early commencement of  voting.

As at 10.30 am, 67 people had voted at El-duniya while 37 had cast their votes at Lido.

Meanwhile, the card reader rejected the thumbprint of  Governor Mallam Isa Yuguda  at Baba Sidi Primary School, Bauchi  where he had gone for accreditation for yesterday’s polls.

It was a replay of the situation during the presidential and National Assembly elections two weeks ago when the card reader  failed to accredit  him.

Speaking with journalists after accreditation, yesterday, the governor said, “So far, so bad,  the card has rejected my thumb print  again. My thumb print  was rejected during presidential and National Assembly elections;  the samething happened today again”.

Yuguda  commended voters for their orderly conduct at polling units.

On the low turn out of voters, Yuguda said” some of the electorates believed in the Presidential election so may be that was the reason for the low turn out but I want to urge them to come out and exercise their franchise.

The APC gubernatorial candidate in the polls, Mohammed Abubakar, while speaking with journalist, at Guru Galadima polling unit after accreditation,  commended the turn out and orderliness of the voters.

Bayelsa: Jonathan explains poor voter turnout

Reports from Bayelsa State said President  Goodluck Jonathan was accredited at about 10.55am at his Otuoke polling unit in an exercise characterised by low voters turnout.

The president was without his wife, Patience.

Unlike the presidential  and National Assembly polls where Mr. President was subjected to about 50 minutes wait due to the malfunctioning of card readers, his accreditation, yesterday, took less than a minute.

He later visited his mother, Madam Eunice Jonathan, at her residence, a walking distance from the polling unit.

Jonathan’s  mother had earlier done her accreditation.

The president, in an interview with newsmen before he retired to his country home after the accreditation, expressed satisfaction with the exercise as, according to him, “INEC has probably rectified the card reader fault.”

He blamed the poor turn of voters across Bayelsa on the fact that there was no governorship election in the state.

He however expressed hope of PDP victory in  the election.

In another development, the state assembly poll in Oruma community in Ogbia council area was marred by alleged hijack of election materials by suspected thugs.

Many eligible were said to have beaten a quick retreat to their homes when the hoodlums stormed the area and carted away election materials.

Ekiti: Voters shun polls

Reports from Ekiti State where only the House of Assembly was holding claimed there was apathy on the part of voters, as the election in different parts of the state witnessed a low turn out.

A visit by our correspondent to  Ado, Ikere, Ikole, Afao, Ilawe, Aramoko,Omuo, Isan, Ise and Oye, indicated apathy on the part of the electorate.

At Ise, Ilawe, Ikere, Ayedun and Ijero Ekiti some youths took the opportunity to play foodball at open fields and street roads.

However, the election was generally peaceful. Governor Ayo Fayose and his wife, Feyisetan, voted at Maternity   Polling Center, Afao at about 2.02p.m

Fayose said he was satisfied with the conduct of the electorate.

Abia: Complaints galore

In Abia State, the governorship and House of Assembly elections were generally peaceful.

Reports from across the state indicated that INEC deployed materials in time and accreditation also commenced on time.

However, there were complaints from Ofeme and other communities in Ohuhu clan to the effect that the result sheets supplied to the area were fake. The same complaint was received in some communities in Umuahia South council area.

But the INEC Director of Public Education and Enlightenment, Mr. Edwin Enabor, dismissed the allegations. According to him, when the people from Ohuhu came with their complaint, the electoral officers posted to the area were called to bring the materials which he said proved that what they had were genuine INEC materials.

Also, there were areas where card readers did not work and the people reverted to the manual process. This affected areas like Obingwa, Ohafia, Umuahia South.

There was equally reports of alleged hijack of ballot papers at Ihechiowa in Arochukwu council area, World Bank Primary School and Afara Technical School in Umuahia.

Governor Theodore Orji, who voted at 2.10pm in his Ugba Primary School Unit, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of voters and their peaceful conduct and expressed the hope that it would be the same across the state.

Orji also expressed the hope that PDP would win the polls to retain power in the state.

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Abia, Dr. Alex Otti, has called for the cancellation of the governorship and state assembly elections in the state, alleging that they were fraught with fraud.

Otti alleged while speaking to newsmen in his Umuehim Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area that the elections were marred by armed thugs suspected to be loyal to PDP who allegedly invaded polling units, shot sporadically and snatched ballot boxes.

Kwara: Optimism amid low turnout

In Kwara State, the elections were reportedly marred by low turn out.

Sunday Vanguard’s visit to some polling units   Ilorin,Idofian, Ipee, Ojoku among others showed low turn out, but Ajase Ipo and Offa maintained active participation of the voters with high turn out.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the APC gubernatorial candidate in the elections, and the leader of the APC in the state, Senator Bukola Saraki, lamented the low turn-out of  the elections.

However, the two leaders commended the peaceful conduct of the exercise, which saw voters’ turn out later being impressive in the state.

Similarly,   Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, said the voters’ apathy was due to what he termed “the lacklustre attitude of security agencies in the last elections”.

The Minister, who voted in the same polling unit with Saraki, complained of inadequate security presence in the last elections and called on INEC to relocate the three polling units at Ode Opobiyi, saying they were sited in residential areas.

Another APC chieftain, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who voted at his Baboko Ward, said many Nigerians expect a lot from the incoming administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that they were not that concerned with the state elections.

Also, the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Ahmed on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, who commended the people for the “impressive turn out,” told journalists in Offa that his boss would be re-elected at the end of the elections.

But the Director General of the PDP Campaign in Kwara State, Deacon John Dara, said in Ipee, his hometown, that the PDP gubernatorial candidate,Senator Simeon Ajibola Ajibola, will shock book makers and win the election.

Edo: Tight security, Oshiomhole laments card reader hitches

Reports from Edo State said although only the House of Assembly poll held there, there was low voters turn out. The election was held under  tight security. Voting materials arrived the entire 18 local government areas between 8:00am and 8:30am.

However, tension was more in Orhionmwon Local Government Council due to the senatorial election result expected from the area. Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Pius Odubu, described the exercise as peaceful but regretted the earlier problem encountered with card readers. Meanwhile, the results of the House of Assembly election trickling in indicated that the APC was winning many seats in the state.

In Ward 5, Ugboko Units 27 and 28, at about 11am, there was a clash between PDP and APC youths after a former Minister of State for Works, Engr. Chris Ogienwonyi, accused a PDP leader in the ward of confiscating over 40 PVCs belonging to some persons.

However, the PDP supporters insisted he should go to his unit, stressing that he was not supposed to be at the unit which they said was not his voting centre. However, APC supporters countered, asserting that a chieftain of the PDP in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who came to the area during the incident was also not supposed to be there.

In Edo Central, suspected thugs invaded some polling units in Ewohinmi and carted away ballot papers. The same situation occurred in Opoji.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who voted in his Iyamho ward 10 at about 3:10pm, lamented the failure of the card reader in some areas and urged INEC to fish out the bad eggs frustrating the efforts of the electoral body.

The governor also said there was low voters’ turnout because of the frustration they experienced with the card readers.

DELTA: Controversy as soldiers impound commissioner’s car

In Delta State, controversy over the enforcement of the no vehicular movement rule on election day marred the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Asaba, the state capital, as soldiers had a running battle with motorists.

The motorists, which included top government officials, were prevented from driving to their polling units by armed soldiers who insisted on enforcing the regulation imposed by the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, to the letter.

The action of the soldiers, who raided the city, confiscating keys of drivers sent shivers down the spine of voters, as the serenity of the capital city was shattered creating tension and apprehension in the minds of voters who had finished accreditation and waiting for voting which was billed for 1pm.

In the ensuing fracas and for fear of the soldiers, many voters took to their heels as they believed that the action of soldiers could not be predicted.

Many of the cars whose keys were collected by the soldiers were left in the middle of Nnebisi Road, the most popular and busiest road in the state capital. As the raid progressed from the Flyover Bridge, the soldiers arrived at JohnBosco, the polling unit where the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah, was to cast his votes.

The soldiers attempted to seize the key of the commissioner’s car which led to further commotion.

Ogeah, whose attention was drawn to the incident, introduced himself to the soldiers but the soldiers refused to listen to him and insisted on impounding the car.

The commissioner accused the soldiers of scaring voters away with their action.

But a spokesman for the army, who simply identified as Olaleye O., said the seizure of keys from vehicle drivers was an order from the Inspector General of Police that no vehicular movement should be allowed on election day.

“The order of no vehicular movement means no vehicular movement between 8.am and 6pm. It’s only security agents and others on essential duties that are supposed to be with their vehicles. The issue of ballot snatching is traceable to movement of vehicles and tricycles on election days”, he stated.

“So while we were going round there was a lot of vehicular movement and we decided to enforce the no vehicular movement order by the IGP. It was announced on the radio and television. People are supposed to walk to their polling units and cast their votes.

“Nobody has collected any PVC from anybody. All we are saying is that your vehicle is not supposed to be on the road”.

Answering a question on distance from residence to polling unit and the fact that there were some vehicular movements during the presidential election, Olaleye said “we are simply enforcing an order from the Inspector General of Police”.

Ogun: Man with several PVCs held

In Ogun, the state police command  arrested a man (names withheld) for unlawful possession of several Permanent Voter Cards in Abeokuta during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the incident, said  the command was investigating the matter.

Also, there were reports of snatching of ballot boxes in various parts of the state.

According to sources, at Westley School, Unit 002, Ward 009, two men absconded after being caught with stolen PVCs .

But, the police said they had not been informed about the incident.

Meanwhile, a fight broke out at Ward 7, Unit 20, Oba, in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state as PDP agents were alleged to have been inducing voters with money while they were on the queue to vote. A PDP agent was also arrested at the polling unit.

The APC agent at the polling unit, Alhaja Monsurat Ogunfolaji, accused the PDP of attempting to disrupt the electoral process.

She said that around 3pm she noticed that a man and a woman who had not previously been identified as PDP agents showed up with the party’s tag and started to share money to voters.

She raised the alarm and security agents arrested one of them.

But, speaking on behalf of the PDP, a former Chairman, Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Babatunde Adesina, alleged that the arrest was a ploy to silence PDP members at the polling unit.

Meanwhile, three policemen  were  involved in an  accident at Wasinmi area along Lagos – Abeokuta expressway in Ewekoro local government area of the state.

The accident occurred at about 9:35 a.m while going on an election monitoring around the area.

Our correspondent who witnessed the incident observed  that the rickety bus of the Nigeria Police Force belonging to Ewekoro Divisional Police somersaulted from its side facing Lagos axis and jumped to the other prompted the tyres to burst.

Oyo: Ajimobi, Akala, Ladoja upbeat

In Oyo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who is the governorship candidate of the APC in the elections; Otunba  Adebayo Alao-Akala, governorship candidate of Labour Party; and Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the governorship candidate of  Accord Party,  commended the peaceful conduct of the polls.

Ajimobi, who voted at his polling unit, described the process as peaceful and well-organised.

Senator Rashidi Ladoja
Senator Rashidi Ladoja

Akala, accredited at Ward 10, Unit 13, Sabo-Taara, Ogbomoso, said, “I am impressed with the peaceful way the electorate have gone all about the electoral process. I laud them for being peaceful.  Although  I can’t  describe the turn out as good, I believe the turnout will be impressive by the time voting commences. I also commend the electoral officials for being prompt in the various polling units. It shows Nigerians are developing with every election. I am also pleased with the security arrangement.”

Ladoja, accredited at Ward 10, Unit 6b, Ondo Street, Bodija, expressed  reservation about the accreditation even though  he said the polls were more peaceful than the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Ladoja complained that  card readers were  not working in some places, saying that at Olomi area of Ibadan, ballot boxes were snatched.

Sunday Vanguard observed that there was low turn-out in some places  in Ibadan metropolis but some voters said it was not low turn-out, saying the efficacy of  card readers this time around  reduced queues at polling units.

Ondo: APC, monarch trade words on polls materials’ hijack

In Ondo State, the people voted to elect only state lawmakers. But low turnout, hijacking of electoral materials  and violence marked the poll.

Accreditation of voters commenced on schedule while the card readers worked better compared to when they  were used during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Reports from across the state indicated that the two major parties, PDP and APC, were out to outsmart  each other.

Electoral materials going to Igbonla, Aiyetoro, Ilowo, Idi Ogba and Mahin were reportedly  hijacked by thugs who ambushed INEC officials.

An NYSC official who tried to rescue the electoral materials was reportedly wounded.

In Ondo East council area, a particular candidate was said to have brought thugs to the town on Friday and guns were said to have been booming  till yesterday morning.

Security operatives however put the situation under control.

In Idanre, a leader of the PDP in Igbepo camp, Isalu Ehinpetu Ward, Chief Adedeji Lucas, was said to have been attacked with machete while reportedly trying to stop thugs from snatching ballot boxes for the area.

He was rushed to Hope Specialist Hospital where he was referred to    the Specialist Hospital in the town.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the elections were also disrupted in three other wards in Idanre but the timely intervention of security operatives brought the situation under control.

Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who voted in Ward 7 Unit 20 in Ondo West council area of the state, said the election was generally peaceful except the disturbing scenario in Ondo East.

A former governorship candidate of the defunct ACN in the state, Rotimi Akeredolu, attributed the low turn out to the non-conduct of the governorship election in the state.

Akeredolu said that although the election was peaceful, the turn out was not impressive.

Meanwhile, the Olugbo of Ugboland in Ilaje area of Ondo State, Oba Fredrick Akinruntan, yesterday, denied hijacking electoral materials during the election.

Ondo State APC had alleged that the Oba,  in conjunction with his son,  Abayomi, who contested the House of Assembly election in the area, hijacked the materials.

The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Adesanya, alleged, in a statement in Akure, “Electoral materials were hijacked in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State by His Royal Majesty, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinrutan, the Okoro Ajiga 1, of Ugbo Kingdom, in conjunction with PDP.  His son is a candidate of the PDP”.

But the Oba, in a telephone interview, described the allegation as spurious and embarrassing.

“ I am a traditional ruler. I do not play politics. The allegation is embarrassing”, he said.

“ I am in my palace in Ode Ugbo. I am not involved in any electoral malpractices. Its a lie.

“ I am the father of politicians. I am not involved in politics even though my son is a contestant.

“It’s surprising that the APC can go to the extent of alleging that I am involved in electoral malpractices. It is unfortunate that they went this far”.

Meanwhile, the APC alleged that the ballot papers, ballot boxes and result sheets meant for election in Ayetoro community, Ugbo Ward 2, the home of the APC candidate for Ilaje Constituency 1, had been snatched by armed men

The party added: “Also, Ilepete community, the collation centre for Ugbo Ward 3, was attacked by armed thugs; shooting of gunshots took the better part of the early hours of voting at Ilowo to scare voters away.

“The home town of Chief Omojuwa, a former director of OSOPADEC, was also under siege “.

Sokoto: Tambuwal pleads for acceptance of results

Reports from Sokoto State said Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, called on contestants and Nigerians to accept   the outcome of  yesterday elections.

Tambuwal, who is the APC candidate  in  the gubernatorial election in the state, said the polls were  an opportunity for the people to elect those to govern them.

Speaking after casting his vote in his polling station, Shiyar Ajiya, Tambuwal, at about 2pm, he said the elections had been peaceful.

Tambuwal said the no complaint about card readers failure showed  that there was improvement in the elections compared to the presidential  and National Assembly elections.

The governorship candidate said: “ We have witnessed an improvement compared to that of last two weeks.

“The process of accreditation was very smooth and I have not heard of any complaint.”

Meanwhile, voting commenced in polling stations across the state after smooth and seamless accreditation.

In most polling stations visited, voters turned up for accreditation early as many had to wait for the electoral officers to come.

In Sokoto South and North local government areas, voters turned up in large number with many expressing happiness with the card readers.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.