By Chimaobi Nwaiwu.
Anambra election – Pandemonium erupted at Enem Hall, Otolo Nnewi ward II, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State when four gunmen allegedly pulled their short guns and started shooting sporadically while voting was ongoing at about 2pm.
Generally, accreditation started in Nnewi by 8:30 am, although though there was low turnout compared to previous elections, as many shunned the voting centers and went for other personal matters including watching football matches and drinking in beer parlous that were open.
It was the same situation in Akamili Central School, Umudim, Agbo Central School, Umudim, Uru Hall and many other places visited. Within the community, some adults were seen in groups doing analysis of who will win the election without actually going to polling stations nearest to them to exercise their franchise.
Voters apathy almost marred voting activities in Onitsha North and South Local Government Area as voters shunned voting and were engaged in other personal activities like playing and watching English football and other European matches, while other engaged in drinking and arguments on football matters..
At the Urban Girls Secondary School Fegge Onitsha, George Chukwuma in “Ward 5 Unit 012 said tout of 628 votes registered, only 61 voters voted, in the same Ward 5 Unit 011 the P:residing Officer Obodo Jester said that 74 voted out of 616 that registered.
It was however the same story in Onitsha North Local Government area when Vanguard earlier visited some wards in Old Market road Onitsha, where many youth were sighted playing football, and engaged in other activities, however effort to speak with INEC officials failed because still being attended as at the time of the visit.
In Nnewi Vanguard gathered that the cause of the pandemonium the at the Enem Hall, Otolo Nnewi ward II, Nnewi polling station was the action of a prominent Nnewi politician who stormed the polling unit and dolled out money, which he threw to the voters as he was about leaving and voters scrambled for the bundles of Naira notes and the four young boys emerged from the crowd and pulled their pistols, picked the money and ran into a nearby bush which kept voters on their toes, and security agents posted to the polling uni, helpless.”
At Obi Okpuneze Uruagu ward a voters complained that ballot box 0017 was missing from the materials sent to the polling unit at about 11:30 am, and voters there insisted that they will not vote until the ballot was returned to the polling unit.
Commenting on the election, wife of late Ikemba Nnewi and former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Bianca Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who voted at St Stephen ward II, Umudim said she saw a very orderly process, “people were abiding by the rules to exercise their franchise.”
Mrs Ojukwu commended the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, officials for their professional conduct, she, regretted that the turnout was low but noted that “it could have been much better, certainly what we see today is not as much as we had during the last governorship election”
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Innosons Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma commended the INEC for a peaceful conduct and appealed to the people to conduct themselves peacefully.
The founder of the Reality Forum, an APGA support group in Nnewi, Comrade Uzor Nwosu said the election was peaceful, although he alleged that other political parties were buying votes with money.