The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained that it conducted presidential and national assembly polls in 22 polling units in Ndume, Umuahia North Council of Abia State, yesterday because the polling materials for the units were mistakenly taken to another area on Saturday.
INEC officer in charge of public affairs in the state, Bamidele Oyetunde, told The Guardian that yesterday’s exercise was approved by the commission’s head office in Abuja.
According to him, the correct materials arrived Ndume on Saturday after 2pm when it was too late to commence the exercise.
Oyetunde added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate, Senator Theodore Orji, and his All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) counterpart, Onyeukwu Ajaegbu, had visited the INEC office in the state on Saturday to plead that the polls be shifted to February 24.
However, observers from the Anglican Church have commended INEC and Lagosians for their comportment in Saturday’s polls in the state.
The church, which was accredited by INEC since 2007 to observe elections, sent about 300 observers all over Lagos to monitor the elections.
Chairman of the Election Sensitisation, Mobilisation and Observation Committee of the Diocese of Lagos West, Ven. Gbenga Oniye, said the election was generally peaceful, despite pockets of incidents.
“Of course, we cannot rule out apathy. If there is anything God has to help us fight in this country, it has to be rumours of war,” he added.
Bishop of the diocese, Rev. James Odedeji, also commended INEC for peaceful polls.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after casting his vote at Ikeja, he expressed happiness with the fast voting process.
In the same vein, the Catholic Bishop of Uromi Diocese, Donatus Ogun, has commended the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, for ensuring violence-free elections in the state.
The cleric, in his homily at the Thanksgiving Mass for Prof. Emmanuel Emovon’s 90th birthday, in Benin City, yesterday, expressed delight at the peaceful atmosphere in the state after the conduct of the elections.
He noted: “We just completed a phase of the 2019 general elections and I am happy about the manner Edo electorate maintained peaceful disposition throughout the state. I thank the governor and all his men for ensuring a peaceful election in the state.”
The governor, who attended the thanksgiving service, described Emovon as an Edo icon who has made Benin people proud.
According to Obaseki, the don represents hard work, humility, stewardship, honesty and accountability.