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Late arrival of electoral materials hamper council elections in Abia

The Local Government elections in Abia State were held on Wednesday amidst late dispatch of electoral materials from the Registration Area Centres (RAC) to polling units.

The election, billed to start by 8 a.m. and end by 3 p.m. took off as late as 12 noon at most polling centres across Aba.

In Osisioma Local Government Area (LGA), the materials started arriving from 10: 30 a.m. while voting began at different times.

At Ngwa High School Polling centre, Ward 5, voting commenced at about 11:49 a.m. with a low turn-out of voters.

NAN correspondent, who also visited the Abayi-Umueze Primary School Centre, Ward 3, reports that the centre was almost empty by t 9: 30 a.m. except three persons seen waiting for electoral officials.

At Amuzu Ward 5, still in Osisioma LGA, voting began at about noon.

At Aba North Local Government Headquarters, an electoral officer who refused to be named said the late distribution of the materials was as a result of the commotion caused at the centre by politicians and party agents.

“They insisted that they must inspect the election material before the materials are moved out which is not provided for in the electoral law.

“Yet, they kept disturbing us. Some of them would not allow unit ad hoc staff to go into their vehicles and make way for the electorate to perform their civic duty,’’ he said.

Eze Ugochukwu Ihediwa, the traditional ruler of Umunna-Ato Ariaria II Autonomous Community said that he was yet to cast his vote as at 1 p.m. when a NAN correspondent visited the Ariaria Ward 9.

Ihediwa said that the electoral materials had not arrived the polling unit, adding that he had to leave the area as he was tired of waiting.

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