Mixed reactions have trailed the ongoing electoral exercise in Edo state, with various reports of electoral gadgets malfunctioning, claims of vote-buying, and pockets of palpable chaos nipped in the bud.
In the early hours of Saturday, there was mild tension at Emokpae Model Primary School in Oredo Local Government Area of the state, where Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is one of the candidates in the poll, went to cast his vote.
The fracas resulted from a misunderstanding between an agent of a political party and a supposed election observer. This occurred while some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were setting up for the election.
The party agent is said to have mistaken the observer for another party agent and challenged him for sitting on a seat meant for the electoral officials. As a result, both men engaged in an altercation as other electorates at the venue watched.
The situation was later brought under control following the intervention of the security agencies on the ground.
Obaseki laments, berates INEC
After having stood for a couple of hours at his polling unit, the incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo election, Godwin Obaseki, finally got his chance to cast his vote.
Speak after voting, Governor Obaseki said, he was “surprised” and “shocked” at the slowness of card readers after he cast his vote in the Governorship poll being held in the state.
He said it is sad that such a glitch is being experienced after INEC had given assurances that such problems would be avoided.
I have no complaints, the process is okay says Ize-Iyamu
While Governor Obaseki is decrying the slowness of card readers, his major opponent in the guber race, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu says he has no complaints about the process so far.
After casting his vote in Iguododo ward five, unit 26 of the Orhiomwon local govt, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said, “I have no complaints, the process is okay; the INEC people came on time; they appear to be well prepared; so far, so good.”
He further stated that sometimes, proceedings are delayed for too long, adding that since the INEC officials started the process early, then it means that the pressure is “not there” which is quite good.
Mr Ize-Iyamu said he is happy that in some places, they have started voting which is good, according to him, the feedback from his people at other venues suggest that all is going on well.