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#Electionday peaceful but with hitches – Lai Mohammed

Oro (Ilorin) – The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections in his ward, was peaceful with high turn out of voters but not devoid of hitches.

Electoral Commission Officers await for voters as a polling station opens at Agiya polling station in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria on February 23, 2019, the day of the general elections. – Nigerians began voting for a new president on February 23, after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence. Some 120,000 polling stations began opening from 0700 GMT, although there were indications of a delay in the delivery of some materials and deployment of staff, AFP reporters said. (Photo by AFP)

The minister stated this after casting his vote at Polling Unit 006 Oro Ward 2 in his country home Oro near Ilorin in Kwara.

Th minister who arrived at the polling unit at about 10.13 a.m. voted at about 11.37 a.m after taking his turn on a long queue.

Addressing newsmen, after voting, the minister said he was impressed with the peaceful conductorship of the polls and large turn out of voters who had put behind them the disappointment of last week postponement.

He, however said that there were disparities in the number of election materials, particularly ballot papers, provided by INEC for the presidential election and for the national assembly elections.

The minister also said that card readers were also not functioning in some polling units in his ward and they had reported the situation to the appropriate authority.

“Reports also indicated that there is a mixed-up of voting materials. For instance, in Asa Local Government Area, election materials meant for Gbogunlori were taken to Owode while that of Owode were taken somewhere else.

“Card Readers are also not working in five polling units here in Oro Ward 2, and there is no adequate police presence in Ajase and Agbeola but we have alerted the appropriate authorities,” he said.

The minister noted that with the 2019 polls, Nigeria was on the verge of history and the outcome of the elections will determine whether the country would move forward or slide back to the era corruption and no development.

#Electionday : Unprecedented crowd overwhelms INEC staff in Abuja

Speaking in the same vein, Mr Joseph Ibitoye, a voter and leader of a political party in the ward, said the ballot papers provided by INEC in the polling units for the three elections were not even.

At polling unit 006 where Ibitoye voted with the minister, he said there were 704 registered voters but 600 ballot papers were provided respectively for the Presidential and House of Representatives elections while 700 ballot papers were made available for the Senatorial election.

He said at polling unit 013 in Iludun, there were 495 registered voters whereas 400 ballot papers were provided each for the Presidential and Senatorial elections while 480 ballot papers were made available for the House of Representatives election.

He said card reader machines were not working in polling units 001, 002, 009, 011 and 013 in the ward.

“We started few minutes after 8a.m. and I was the first person to cast my vote and up till now, voting is progressing smoothly except for the hitches observed,’ he said.

NAN observed that there were many senior citizens at the polling unit who came out to exercise their franchise and they were provided with seats to take their turns in the queue.

Two Octogenarians, Chief Abdullahi Taiwo and Mrs Alice Ajibade who spoke to NAN respectively confirmed that voting was peaceful and they were happy to come out to participate in the elections. (NAN)


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