Late arrival of materials on Saturday characterised the Local Government Election in parts of Edo.
Voters were kept waiting for long in queues at many polling units in Benin as electoral materials failed to arrive at 8:00 a.m. as scheduled by the electoral umpires.
It was not until few minutes before 10:00 a.m that materials started arriving at the units in Egor Local Government area, one of the municipal councils within the Benin metropolis, it is reported.
Some political parties’ agents had defied the heavy downpour to arrive the polling units as early as 8: a.m.
Voters, who started trooping into the polling centres some minutes past 8:a.m, expressed surprise that neither electoral materials nor electoral officers had arrived at the polling units.
A security officer deployed to unit 44 ward 10 of Egor LGA, who preferred anonymity, said materials were still being awaited as at 8:30 a.m.
At units 1 to 7 ward 7 in the same council areas domiciled at Olua Primary School, Uselu, officials of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) came in with electoral materials by 9:37am.
At Oredo LGA, materials were yet to arrive at their various units, as at 10:15 a.m.
Similarly, voters were already waiting at units 1 to 3 Ward 12 in front of Oba Market despite its proximity with the Oredo LGA Secretariat.
The situation was not much different at units 11 and 31 in ward 1 of Oredo LGA, where materials were still being expected as at 10:30 a.m.
Many voters expressed shock at the situation and one of them, Charles Osagie, observed that even INEC, which was usually blamed for late commencement of elections, had never been this late.
He called for extension of voting time since the state electoral body could not start as scheduled.
In Auchi, Etsako West LGA, it was observed that though materials arrived early in most polling units, low turnout of voters, however, characterised the exercise in the area.
Only few voters could be seen at the polling.
Likewise, at Ward 11, unit 2, 8, 9 in Jattu, few voters were on ground to cast their votes.
At Auchi Ward 4, unit 5, 6, materials arrived at about 9.00 a.m. with security personnel on ground but few voters were seen.
In Fugar, Ward 7, units 7, 8, 9, Obe primary school, low turnout was recorded as few people came out to vote.
A voter, Monday Ikhiroda, expressed dismay over the low turnout.
Mr Ikhiroda blamed the low turnout on government’s late reversal order of restriction of movement.
He said, “As you can see, there is low turnout of voters in this ward, and from the reports reaching me, there is also low turnout of voters in some major polling units in the local government.
“The low turnout of voters can be blamed on late reversal of the restriction of movement order by the state government, as many have gone for their daily businesses.”
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