Adamawa: Violence broke out at the polling unit, where the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Adamawa state, Ahmadu Fintiri, is expected to vote.
Ahmadu Fintiri, who hails from Shuwari in Madagali Local Government was expected to cast his ballot at the Government Christian Secondary School, Shuwa one of the polling units for Internally Displaced People designated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, for the 2019 General Elections.
Polls which opened as early 8:00 a.m. with massive voter turnout in the area became enmeshed in violence as a fight broke out between supporters of the two leading parties, the APC and PDP.
The skirmish between the rival political groups turned into a free-for-all-fight, with the stones thrown injuring a few persons.
The violence was brought under control by security agents shortly before the PDP’s governorship candidate arrived for voting, at his polling at Ward 05, Wuro Ngyandi, Kirchinga.
Fintiri’s presence at the polls, shortly after the fracas elicited wild jubilation and cheers from his supporters. After casting his ballot at exactly 10: 00 a.m., the PDP governorship candidate, who expressed confidence about winning the polls, charged security agencies in the area and other parts of the state to secure the voters from intimidation and harassment.
He said, “Our party, the PDP is convinced of victory in the polls.
“We believe our party won the presidential polls and that’s why the presidential candidate of our party is in court to reclaim the mandate of the people. Even for the governorship polls, I am very certain the PDP will win convincingly. Our call to the security agencies is to ensure they secure the voters from intimidation so that the people can freely come out to cast their votes”
Lokoja: Some armed thugs in police and army uniforms invaded polling units in Adankolo community in Lokoja, shooting sporadically to scare away voters on the queue.
The armed hoodlums arrived in a van and immediately started shooting.
Voters and electoral officers scampered to safety, a development which made it possible for the thugs to carry away ballot boxes, ballot papers and other sensitive election materials.
Worst hit were the five polling units at St Luke Primary School at Adankolo where materials at all the five polling units in the school premises were taken away.
Also at the Polling Unit in NEPA area in Lokoja, the hoodlums, some of whom were masked, also made away with election materials after scaring away INEC officials and voters.
Other areas under the siege of armed thugs were polling units in Ward A in Lokoja Constituency 1.
At Okengwe Polling Unit in Okene Local Government, voting was temporarily disrupted when hoodlums attempted to snatch ballot boxes and other election materials.
There had been fears about the possibility of armed attack on the election day among residents before now.
One of the candidates contesting for a seat in the state House of Assembly had earlier raised the alarm over plans by some elements to disrupt election in the ward.
The candidate, Mr Suleiman Babadoko of the PDP, had appealed to the police and DSS to quickly move in to stop the violence
Also the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has postponed the state House of Assembly election across Mopamuro Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The Electoral Officer, Mopamuro LGA, Mr Opanachi Ojodale, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), at the INEC office in Mopa, that the election was postponed to Sunday March 10, due to wrong ballot papers that were taken to the area.
According to Ojodale, the ballot papers belonging to Akpa LGA in Kogi East, were taken to Mopamuro LGA, a development that was discovered in the early hours of Saturday (election day).
He told NAN that the new ballot papers for Mopamuro would arrive the LG office later in the day, from Abuja.
Meanwhile, some youths of Orokere community had earlier on Saturday conducted a peaceful demonstration to the palace of their traditional ruler, to protest against the alleged importation of thugs to their community by suspected opposition party members.
The youths alleged that the thugs were imported by some politicians in the area to cause mayhem and disrupt the electoral process.
Mr Segun Peter, the youth leader, who spoke on behalf of the youths at the palace, urged the monarch to call the politicians to order so as to forestall a breakdown of law and order during the elections.
“The thugs threatened to disrupt the electoral process in the community, and unleash terror on members of opposition parties.
“The thugs also threatened that voters, who have decided not to vote for their candidates should not bother to come out to vote.
“We are peace-loving people, our youths are ready to stand firm and resist any form of intimidation to protect our votes,” Peter said.
Makurdi: From Benue State, comes a report that thugs disrupted election at North Bank Area, Makurdi, Benue State, after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission intercepted bags of cash meant for vote-buying.
In an attempt to arrest the culprit, some thugs attacked operatives and vandalised the bus used for patrol.
Consequently, accreditation and voting processes was brought to an abrupt end.
Akure: The House of Rep member elect in Akure South and North constituencies, Hon. Adedayo Omolafe aka Expensive has decried the low turnout of voters in Akure and it’s environs today for the State House of Assembly election.
Hon. Omolafe during a chat with the press in his country home, Obanla, Akure South LGA of Ondo State attributed the low turnout to the rumoured violence in the build up to Saturday’s Assembly election.
According to him, there was rumoured in many quarters that the election would be violent hence many of the voters who turned out to vote in the Presidential and National Assembly elections were afraid to exercise their franchise.
He urged INEC to address such situation in future elections as it is the responsibility of the electoral umpire to sensitize the electorate during such development that may affect the electoral process.
Asked about how he intend to correct some of the challenges facing INEC when he got to the House of Representatives, Hon. Omolafe said he would work with other members of the house to come up with reforms that would further make INEC independent as he does not believe the electoral umpire is presently independent.