The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Charles Soludo has gained an early lead in the Anambra governorship election.
As the results from several local government areas (LGAs) come in, Soludo has a commanding lead in 17 of 19 LGAs announced.
Elections did not however hold in 2 local governments.
Collation started 11:30am
The collation of results began at 11:30 am as against the announced 10: 00 am on Sunday by the Vice-Chancellor, University of Calabar, Professor Florence Obi, who is the State Collation and Returning officer for the election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, told journalists on Saturday night that the commission was satisfied with its progress despite the problems faced by the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
He said the problems were largely solved and thanked voters and candidates for being patient.
According to our field officers and independent observers, most voters were able to cast their ballots with the BVAS following the extension of voting time to 4pm and our rule that any voter on the queue at the time must be permitted to cast their ballot”.
Nwachukwu had mentioned that Sunday’s voting may continue, but he expressed happiness that a majority of those who showed up voted, and that the commission would decide whether to extend the voting period if necessary.
Results are already being uploaded to the IRev portal and registration area collation has been progressing well, he said, adding that state collation would commence tomorrow.
Peaceful process, failed technology
Voters turned out in huge numbers to elect a new Governor, despite fears that turnout would be low owing to a variety of circumstances, including a fear of violence as a result of IPOB’s activities.
However, the polls were peaceful in polling units visited by Radio Nigeria correspondents, despite an inefficiency caused by an initial failure of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, which was used for the first time by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Voters expressed concern that the high rate of machine failure will result in the automatic disenfranchisement of many.
Mr Dozie Nwankwo, the member representing Njikoka-Anaocha-Dunukofia Federal Constituency, praised the deployment of modern technology but expressed concern about the incidence of failure.
Like in many parts of the state, voters gathered as early as 8:30 a.m. at polling unit 001, which is located at Central School in Mgbakwu, Anambra Central Senatorial Zone.
Mr Thankgod Anagor, one of them, bemoaned the delay, which caused the voting to linger till 6 p.m.
The same thing happened at the voting station beside the palace of Okpuno’s traditional ruler, where accreditation did not begin at 9 a.m.
The poll had watertight security procedures.
Reporting by Uche Udeke, additional reporting by Kevin Ekediegwu, Rita Ezenwanne, Alfred Ajayi and Ifeanyi Chinwuko; Editing by Saadatu Albashir