Nigeria’s electoral body set to conclude Gubernatorial, state assembly election

Greg Ekpezu, Lagos

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Nigeria’s electoral body, The Independent National Electoral Commission, Inec has concluded the 2019 Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections in the five polling units of Ward 2 in Ika North East Local government area of Delta State.

The exercise culminated at 2:00 pm as stipulated by Inec as the time to stop voting across the nation.

The exercise which was smooth and well coordinated was basically between the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, despite the eligibility of 48 more candidates of  other political parties to run in the race.

Similarly, in the race for the state assembly, hundreds of candidates were cleared by Inec, but the contest was between APC’s Ifeanyi Agholor and Okoh Festus of the PDP.

Distribution of sensitive and non sensitive materials for the fourteen wards of the Local Government commenced as early as 6:00am by INEC officials and ad hoc staff.

The State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa voted at Omi Primary school ward 2 polling unit in Owa-Alero village of  the Local Area.

Okowa performed his civic duty to retain his position which is vigorously contested by APC’s Great Ogborou.

The governor arrived the center at about 8:20am, exchanged pleasantries with party supporters before getting accredited, and subsequently voting.

Earlier, the governor’s family members went through the same exercise, which was conducted in a peaceful and organized environment, largely due to the presence of heavily armed law enforcement agents.

Commenting on the turnout and no flashpoint, Okowa commended the electorates and the Independent National Electoral Commission officials for conducting a hitch free exercise.

According to the governor, “ I am really pleased at the way things are handled in this polling unit. At the moment I can say it’s peaceful where I am. The electorates are really committed because they came quite early and thank God we started early. As you can see they won’t be leaving until votes are counted. If election is conducted like this in every center, then you can be sure of a free and fair election. As for complaints of late start of accreditation and voting, it’s quite early, I will send information around for officials to be proactive. 

He also commended the law enforcement agencies for arresting political thugs that came in from neighboring Edo state, saying the move accounted for the conducive polling environment.

On whether or not he was sure of victory at the end of the election, Okowa’s response was, ” we are sure of victory. It’s a done deal. We are only coming here because it is the prerequisite for a political office. I know my state indigenes are behind me because I have not failed them. “

The governor reassured his people that he will continue to prioritize their needs.

Ime Njoku