LIVE UPDATE, 2019 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: NIGERIA DECIDES

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    Tori-Bokwu
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    DE GURUS I.T PLACE MEDIA REPORTING LIVE FROM THIS DAY:

    Finally today Wednesday the 27th of February 2019, INEC now released the final result of the 2019 presidential election that took place on 23rd of February, 2019.

    The final result took a total of 4days to be finalized and announced to the general public.

    President Muhammadu Buhari has won the 2019 presidential election, polling 15,191,847 votes  to defeat his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,  candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 11,262,978 votes.

    He defeated 73 other candidates to emerge winner. Buhari defeated his closest challenger, Atiku, by a wide magin    votes.

    Buhari was declared winner and returned as President-elect at about  4.30am on Wednesday by the National Chairman of the National Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who is also the national returning officer for the election.

    To emerge winner, Buhari won the highest number of votes in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States.

    Alhaji Atiku won in 17 states and the FCT. The states won by Atiku are Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Oyo, Ondo, Imo, Enugu, Edo, Ebonyi, Benue, Anambra, Adamawa, Abia, Cross River, Rivers, Delta,  Bayelsa  and Akwa Ibom.

    A geopolitical analysis of the states won by Buhari shows that he clinched all the seven states in the Northwest, four in the Southwest, four in Northeast, and four in North central.

    On the other hand, Atiku won all the five Southeast states, all the six South South states, two in Southwest, two in North Central, and two in Northeast.

    President Buhari will be the second president to be reelected since the return of democracy in 1999. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, elected on the platform of the PDP in 1999, was reelected in 2003. His successor, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, who was elected in 2007, did not complete his first term as he died in office. Yar’Adua’s former deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who was sworn into office in 2010, failed in his bid to secure reelection in 2015.

    (4:40 PM) Saturday 23rd February 2019

    Election Materials Hijacked in Bayelsa Deputy Governor’s Town

    Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

    There were reports of hijacking of electoral materials from seven wards at Bassambiri and Oluasiri in Nembe Local Government Area, the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor John Jonah’s hometown on Saturday.

    Several women also besieged the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to protest the disappearance of materials meant for Opu Nembe and Oluasiri by suspected thugs who used a surveillance contractor’s platform in the area.

    The women, who demanded the release of the electoral materials, are from seven wards of Bassambiri and Oluasiri, Nembe Local Government Area.

    It was learnt that the materials for Nembe Constituency 2 and 3 comprising Opunembe and Oluasiri were hijacked and taken to Darius Hotel in Bassambiri.

    The Nembe Local Government Chairman, Mr. Sunny Erewari, said that the women were protesting because they could not vote in spite of the fact that they all had their permanent voters cards(PVCs).

    The local government agent for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jonathan Obuebite, said that elections did not hold in Nembe and Bassambiri and called for the cancellation of the exercise there.

    He said that while the security agents were doing their best to prevent total breakdown of law and order, a certain army lieutenant accompanied some thugs to perpetrate the mayhem in Nembe.

    Oyo Gov Hails Election as Credible, Peaceful

    Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

    The Oyo South Senatorial District candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of Saturday’s election, describing it as credible, peaceful and relatively hitch-free.

    Ajimobi, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Oyo South senatorial district, said this while speaking with journalists shortly after casting his vote in company with his wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, children and sons-in-law at Ward 11, Unit 20, Oluyole Community Grammar School, Oluyole Extension, Ibadan.

    The governor said the election was the best he had witnessed since he joined politics.

    According to him, the conduct of the election was a marked improvement from the past exercises, apart from reported cases of late arrival of polling materials in few polling units across the state.

    He said he was particularly impressed by the large turnout of voters, especially youths whom he said had, by their actions on Saturday, demonstrated their resolve to assume leadership positions.

    He said: “I’m impressed with the conduct of today’s election which I can confidently say passes the litmus test of freeness, fairness and credibility. I congratulate the people of Oyo State for turning out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

    “The atmosphere in this polling unit is that of conviviality. We are all laughing and smiling at one another. The faces I see here are the faces of people who are happy and satisfied with this election.

    “From what I have seen here and the reports I have received so far, the election is hugely successful and credible. The few cases of late arrival of electoral materials were later resolved.

    “Not minding whether they are voting for our party or not, the voters here received me and my family warmly and you can see all of us throwing banter. I must tell you, this is another achievement of our administration. I did not hear any case of brigandage or violence so far.

    “You will know the type of government in power by the people’s attitudes during elections. Today, generally, the election has been conducted in an atmosphere of peace, which is a thing of joy to me. What this means is that our government has enthroned peace in this state.”

    He however enjoined the people of the state to maintain the orderliness, peaceful conduct and large turnout in the March 9 gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.

    INEC Suspends Election in Bonny, Akukutoru

    (4:17 PM)

    Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

    The Independent National Electoral Commission has announced the suspension of elections in Bonny and Akuku Toru Local Government Areas of Rivers state.

    The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obi Effanga, told THISDAY that the commission had to suspend elections in the two areas because of security concerns.

    There had been heavy shootings in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku Toru as well as in Bonny. The casualty figured are yet to determined.

    Details later…

    Political Thugs Kill Schoolboy in Ibadan

    (4:03 MP)

    Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

    The presidential and National Assembly election recorded its first casualty around 2 pm on Saturday in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State after a school boy was killed by suspected urchins known as ‘One Million Boys’.

    THISDAY gathered that the incident happened during the collation of results at Ward 2, Ibadan South East Local Government, and was confirmed by a one-time Deputy Governor in the state, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.

    A witness said, “The boy, Monsuru, who just finished his secondary education at St Luke’s College in Molete, Ibadan was mauled down by the thugs. Many residents believe the thugs belong to the group called ‘One Million Boys’.

    “Votes were being collated when the assailants came into Lako Compound, Kudeti, the same ward where Ambassador Arapaja voted and they started shooting sporadically. It led to the death of Monsuru.”

    It was gathered that indications that there would be trouble started manifesting when loyalists of Zenith Labour Party started removing the banners and posters of other political parties in the vicinity and replacing them with those of their candidates.

    Arapaja who is a chieftain of African Democratic Congress (ADC), while speaking on the incident, said security was not tight enough.

    Atiku Wins in Sanwo-Olu’s Polling Unit

    (3:51 PM)

    The Peoples Democratic Party defeated the ruling All Progressives Congress at the Femi Okunnu polling unit, Lateef Jakande, Ikoyi where the APC governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, voted in the presidential poll.

    The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, polled 52 votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, who got 48 votes.

    Details later…

    Woman Faints on Voting Queue in Kwali

    (3:47 PM)
    An average aged woman voter (name withheld) at Bonugo Primary School Polling Unit 004 in Kwali Area Council of Federal Capital Territory has fainted while on queue to cast her vote in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the woman was rushed to a hospital in Kwali for medical attention.
    Some of the electorate who are familiar with her said the woman had been sick for quite some time.

    Mr Samuel Adamu told NAN that the woman had not been feeling well.

    Meanwhile, a large number of voters were seen on queue in various polling units visited as at 2.15 p.m.
    NAN also observed that many of the voters defied the scorching sun to exercise their civic duty.
    Most of the electorate were seen sitting under trees while others came with umbrella as they waited patiently for their turn to be accredited for voting their choice candidates. (NAN)

    Atiku: I Will Accept Outcome of Election If…

    (3:17 PM)

    Daji Sani in Yola

    The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic party, Atiku Abubakar, said he would accept the outcome of today’s election if it was transparent, free and fair.

    Atiku in campany of his wife Titi disclosed this at Ajiya 012 polling unit in Yola, Adamawa State capital shortly after casting his vote, noting that he looks forward to a successful transition of government.

    The presidential candidate who voted at exactly 10:07am further explained that because he was a democrat he would accept the outcome of the election.

    He said he was impressed with the massive turnout of voters and the peaceful manner the people were conducting themselves at polling centres.

    Atiku appealed to security and INEC officials to be transparent and fair so that the mandate of the people would not be tampered with.

    He described the election as peaceful.

    Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), who voted at Gwadabawa polling unit expressed satisfaction with the massive turnout of voters adding that the peaceful manner voters conducted themselves is impressive.

    He said the attitude displayed at most of the units indicated that Nigerians now know the importance of voting and the need to vote for a good leader to emerge as the winner of the presidential and national assembly elections.

    Governorship candidate of PDP in the state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, who voted at Kirchinga 004 polling units in Madagali local government area, where Boko Haram insurgents invaded recently, said the conduct of the election in that area was peaceful.

    He said that electoral materials arrived at 9am in his polling unit adding that voting started at about 10am.

    Govenor of Adamawa State and governorship candidate of the APC, who voted at 10:15am at Abu Muwachi of Kolore ward of Mubi North local government area, also expressed satisfaction with the massive turnout of voters.

    He urged the people not to take laws into their hands but abide by electoral law and regulations.

    However, the exercise so far in Yola, the state capital, was very peaceful amidst tight security, as voters were seen queuing as early as 6.30 am.

    Most of the polling units in the state capital started the exercise at 8am

    Also speaking at Genye1 polling unit in Ganye

    Local Goverment Area of the state, Mr Vincent Audu, told THISDAY that electoral materials arrived the polling unit as early as 6am and accreditation and voting started by 8am

    He said there was massive turnout of voters and the exercise was peaceful and transparent.

    In Hong and Gombi local government areas, electoral materials arrived early but the exercise was delayed due to inadequate security.

    According to a source, the security deployed in some polling units in the area were yet to turn out for election as at about 10am.

    In Madagali local government area, election materials arrived in most of the polling units at about 8am and exercise began at about 9.30am

    Mr. Tanko Philip who voted in Mararaba Bako polling units in Madagali town bedevilled by the Boko Haram Insurgency, said the exercise was peaceful.

    Four Killed, Violence in Parts of Rivers

    (2:55 PM)
    Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

    Violence has erupted in parts of Rivers State in the ongoing presidential and National Assembly election.

    The All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that one of its chieftains and former chairman of Andoni Local Government Area of the state, Chief Mowan Etete, was killed alongside his elder brother and also his cousin in Asarama.

    In a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, the party also said one of its ex-officio members of the state Executive Committee, Ignatius, was also shot dead at Ajakaja, also in Andoni by suspected political thugs.

    The police have not confirmed the deaths yet.

    Heavy gunfire has also been reported at Abonema, headquarters of Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the state.

    No casualties have been reported but THISDAY gathered that many voters were scared away from polling stations.

    Voters’ Turnout Impressive, Says Oshiomhole

    (2:20 PM)
    Mr Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), said on Saturday that the turnout of voters was impressive in spite of the postponement of the election date by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

    He commended INEC after he cast his vote at about 11:55am at his Ward 10, Unit 1 at Iyamho in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo, observing that the turnout was massive compared to previous elections in the country.

    “I have been voting here since 1999 and the turnout here today is totally unprecedented and some of you who have witnessed previous voting here will agreed that it is almost three, four times higher.

    “Those with small babies on their back who have come to vote, I am touched, I think so far, so good, they say it is never over until it s over, for now I am satisfied with what I have seen here.

    “I am not a future teller, and I am not here to campaign, but I have always said, the thing about election is comparing one with other.

    “Now from evidence now, our own candidate President Muhammadu Buhari went around the 36 states.

    “I am very confident that if everything goes round like this Nigerians will win, Nigerians must win, and once Nigerians win no problem’’, he said.(NAN)

    Voters Angry as Card Reader Fails at Anambra Community

    (2:40 PM)
    By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

    Voters are now stranded at Abagana Ward 4, polling unit 003 in Njikoka Local Government of Anambra State following the failure of the card reader.

    The voters, who spoke to THISDAY, expressed anger over their inability to cast their ballot.

    A House of Representatives candidate of APDA, Adam Akonanya told THISDAY that he and his people were at the polling unit earlier before 8am but were yet to do anything at 11am because of the failure of the card reader.

    He said when the INEC officials started at about 8am, they only attended to four persons
    before the card reader malfunctioned.

    “Since then our people have been here without any explanation. The INEC people are just saying we should exercise patience. Look at the time now voting will end at 2pm,” he said.

     

    Card Reader Rejects Amosun’s Thumbprint

    (1:20 PM)

    Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta

    The Ogun State Governor, Sen Ibikunle Amosun, faced a challenge at his ward where he wanted to cast his votes for both the Presidential and National Assembly elections when the card reader rejected his thumbprint.

    Amosun who, in company of his wife, Olufunsho, arrived at his polling unit 8, Ward 6, Ita-gbangba, Itoko, in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of the state, in an unmarked SUV, at 10:50.am was beset with the problem of casting his votes.

    When it was the turn of the governor to cast his vote at 12 noon, the card reader rejected his thumbprint until a technician came to his rescue and worked on the machine.
    However, the technician asked Amosun to wash his hand which later paid off, before he could vote.

    Elections Commence on Scheduled, Hitch-free in Yobe

    (1:02 PM)

    Eligible voters in Damaturu, Yobe, were on queue as early as 5.00 a.m and waited for the arrival of officials and commenced voting in the rescheduled presidential and parliamentary elections.

    A NAN correspondent who visited some polling units in the metropolis reports that election officials and materials were deployed to the polling units before 8 am, while the accreditation and voting process commenced at exactly 8.am.

    Some election officials who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said they had adequate materials as well as security personnel, and that the electorates were conducting themselves in orderly manner.

    Adama Abdullahi, Presiding Officer at Fire Service polling unit said voting commenced at exactly 8.00 a.m and that they had adequate materials.

    “Our only area of concern is the battery charger (for the card reader); we fear it may run down in the afternoon but we have complained to the supervisor and he has promised to provide us with a backup,” she said.

    Similarly, election in Mairi, Pompomari, Central Primary School and Water Board polling units all commenced at the scheduled time.

    Hajiya Zara Bukar, a voter, said she joined the queue very early to exercise her franchise.

    “I have voted the candidates of my choice peacefully and everything is going on as planned,” she said.

    Ali Shehu, another voter at Mairi said he left for the election immediately after the morning prayers, adding, “l am happy all is well.”

    NAN reports that security personnel were at all polling units visited and other strategic locations in the metropolis.(NAN)

    Obiano Votes, Says No Voter Apathy in Aguleri

    (1:50 PM)

    By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

    The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has cast his vote in the presidential and National Assembly election in his community, Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area.

    He said he was confident that more voters would arrive at the polling unit to cast their votes.

    He called on people with voter cards to come out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility or be disenfranchised.

    He said: “I encourage Ndi Anambra to come out and perform their civic responsibility and help Nigeria move forward.”

    Obiano’s ward, Aguleri ward 1, was however without the usual crowd that comes out during voting exercise.

    But the governor, who came out to vote at 10:15am in company with his wife, said the low voter turnout was not anything to worry about, adding that the voters whose polling booth was there were living close by and will come out to vote before the close of the voting exercise.

    Moghalu, Others Decry Card Reader Challenges, Late Arrival of Materials

    (1:45 PM)

    The Presidential Candidate of the Young Peoples Party (YPP), Mr Kingsley Moghalu has decried the non performance of card readers in his ward at Nnewi North ward 2 in Anambra.

    Moghalu told newsmen shortly after voting by 11.55 a.m that faulty card readers delayed voting in the area.

    “I came out by 8 a.m to vote but the card readers were not functioning; so I went back to my house and came out by almost noon to vote.

    “As you can see, some voters left out of frustration having waited for about three hours. This will affect voting pattern.

    “Democracy has a lot of challenges over performance failure by INEC but when I come to power, all these will change,’’ Moghalu said.

    In Ebonyi, the member representing Abakaliki/Izzi federal constituency at the National Assembly, Chief Sylvester Ogba, after casting his vote at Ndinkwegu-Amagu primary school polling unit, Abakaliki, lamented faulty card readers.

    Ogba said the card readers did not work for over an hour before it was fixed.

    “The problem was later rectified by a technician but we want INEC to consider the lost time and add it to the voting period,” he said.

    He noted that the peaceful atmosphere noticed at the area was due to the enlightenment given to the people to maintain peace and orderliness while voting.

    “This is the ancestral home of our people and we abhor acts that threaten the lives and property of the people,’’ he said.

    Supporting the assertion, Chief Sylvanus Ngiji-Ngele, former Senator Ebonyi North senatorial district, commended the people and INEC for peaceful conduct.

    Chief Lazarus Ogbe, member representing Ezza South/ federal consituency lamented the death of his agent alongside other PDP members by suspected hoodlums at Ndegu-Amagu ward one and two polling unit.

    He said he was saddened by the loss but it would not deter the voters in affected areas from voting. (NAN)

    Ugwuanyi, Ekweremadu Vote, Hail Process as Peaceful, Orderly

    By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze

    Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu have described the large turout of voters as encouraging, saying the process was calm, peaceful and orderly.

    Ugwuanyi, who spoke to newsmen shortly after voting in his Orba polling unit in Udenu Local Government at exactly 10.02am, simply said: “Enugu is in the hands of God.”

    On his part, Ekweremadu, who is also the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Enugu West senatorial zone, expressed delight with the smooth process as at the time he cast his vote at 10.25am at his Mpu polling unit in Aninri Local Government.

    He however regretted that voting was yet to start in some of the polling units, citing network-related challenges with the card readers, incomplete ballot papers in some units and complete lack of ballot papers in other areas.

    He said that at Umuabi in Udi council, result sheets which were formally missing were found in the bush.

    He expressed satisfaction with the security situation at the polls.

    “So far, we can see that the people are orderly and everywhere is calm. We hope to have a trouble free polls,” he said.

    On whether he believes INEC will do a good job, he said: “Let us do a wait-and-see game. We just started. Maybe, in the next one hour, we shall be back to see what is happening.”

    Meanwhile, as early as 7am Saturday movement was restricted

    Checks by THISDAY showed that there was heavy security presence across the 17 councils in the state.

    Journalists and election monitors’ vehicles were thoroughly searched by soldiers.
    Security is very tight with roadblocks mounted on major highways and interstate roads.

    Only Three Parties Have Agents in Most Polling Centres in Daura

    By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
    The ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections in Daura metropolis can be said to be a fierce contest among three political parties; namely All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Accord Party.

    Only these three parties were represented by agents at many of the polling units visited by this reporter.
    At Polling Unit 006 in Bakin Kasuwa I Kofar Gidan Chairman, Umar Sade, kept a watch on proceedings for the PDP. The APC was represented by Usman Lawan, while Sanni Mai Jamai stood as agent for Accord.

    Sade confirmed that the voting process was going well. He allayed concerns that supporters of other parties may be intimidated, insisting that the contest was a family affair. “The APC agent is my friend, while the representative of the Accord is my younger brother,” he enthused.

    At Polling Unit 003 Kofar Barau III Gidan Niyam Registration 01 Sarkin Yara A, the atmosphere was peaceful . The normalcy of electoral procedure was confirmed by Abdullahi Mohammed agent of the APC, Aliu Magaji agent of the PDP and Mansur Nalado of the Accord Party.

    All the Polling Units in Daura metropolis were busy with an impressive turnout of voters.
    The good showing of Accord Party in Daura is linked to the towering presence of politician and businessman, Hon. Mohammed Lawal Nalado. He is vying for the Katsina North senatorial district (Daura Zone) on the platform of Accord. Nalado is angling to upstage the serving federal legislator, Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita of the APC.

    However, Accord Party has adopted Buhari as its presidential candidate. Nalado told this reporter at Sarkin Yara A. “From what I am seeing, there is strict observance of law and order. I believe the process is going to be free and fair. We have done a lot of sensitisation to educate people on how they should vote. If I lose I will congratulate the winner. That is fair play and spirit of sportsmanship. We are out to contest for various reasons. My opponent has his manifesto I have mine. If people decide to vote for him. No problem. I am not envisaging losing. This is the senatorial district of the president. You can see what he has been campaigning in practice. He has often said people should vote whoever they like. People have different choices. Nobody is being harassed or intimidated.”

    INEC Orders Extension of Voting Time in Polling Units Where Voting Commenced Late

    (1:15 PM)

    Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ordered extension of voting time at polling units where voting processes were not activated at 8 a.m.

    The National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye, disclosed this Saturday while giving an update on the voting process so far.

    He said that the challenges being faced by the commission include; non activation of polling units by 8 a.m, security issues, malfunctioning of the Smart Card Readers, among others.

    “Any polling unit where election did not start by 8a.m will be extended by the number of hours delayed. “

    Details later…

    Peaceful Polls in Benue Excites Mark

    (12:57 Pm)

    George Okoh In Makurdi

    A former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, has said that peaceful conduct of election is possible in Nigeria if politicians and relevant authorities comply with the rules of the game.

    Mark said shortly after he cast his vote in Otukpo, Ward 1 in Benue State: “The peaceful exercise so far in the state is reassuring that elections can be conducted orderly in Nigeria.”

    The former Senate helmsman accompanied by his wife Helen at the polling centre stated: “I expect that this peaceful trend that is characteristic of my ward and home is replicated in every part of the country. For me, election should be a game that must produce a winner or loser. We do not need to lose our heads because of election.”

    Mark enjoined the security operatives and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to carry out their assignments creditably without fear or favour, saying that the interest of Nigeria must be paramount at all times.

    He however told the electoral umpire to be conscious of any lapses or shortcomings in the current exercise with a view to correcting them in the forthcoming polls.

    In the same vein, the former President of the Senate urged politicians to abide by the rules of the game, saying: “There is no need to resort to self help or violence to thwart the process no matter which side of the divide one belongs.”

    Mark believes that politics is a noble job to render service to the people and not otherwise.

    IG Visits Polling Units in FCT

    (12:49 pm)
    Alex Enumah in Abuja

    The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has embarked on visits to Polling Units across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to assess the security situation in and around the various voting centers in the capital.

    Adamu in a convoy of some security chiefs and journalists arrived at ward 002 in Garki Model Primary School in Garki Village, by Da’a Social Club.

    As about 12.15pm when he arrived the center, voting was ongoing in an orderly and peaceful manner.

    While some voters were seen casting their votes, others were still undergoing accreditation.

    Officials however told the IG everything had been orderly and peaceful so far.

    Voting Starts Smoothly in Ondo

    (12:40 pm)
    James Sowole in Akure

    Voting started peacefully and early in most parts of Ondo State as the electorate trooped out in large numbers to exercise their rights in the presidential and National Assembly elections.

    Areas monitored in the state showed that voting materials got to units early enough except in some few places at Owo town.

    When THISDAY got to Methodist Primary School, which is the collation centre for Ward 5, ad hoc workers mostly corps members were still waiting to be moved to their units as at 8:30am.

    As at 9:30am, voters were waiting anxiously at Emure Ile in Owo Local Government area.

    The anxiety of the people was noticed as they rushed towards the bus that conveyed journalists that came to cover the exercise thinking it was the bus that brought the materials.

    However, voting started as early as 8:00am in some other units in the town.

    The Governor of Ondo State, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu voted at
    9:42am at Unit 2 Ijebu Owo Ward 5.

    According to the governor, election in any democracy is a thing that can be either way, “there are so many ways it could go but whichever way it goes, we have to accept”.

    He further noted that the problems that led to the postponement of election last week by INEC had been surmounted.

    Meanwhile, there was a large turnout of voters in Akure North Local Government Area.

    At Igoba/Isinigbo Ward 5, the electorate trooped out to cast their votes.

    In Akure, the state capital, there was also a large turnout in some units visited by THISDAY.

    At Ijomu area in Akure South Local Government, a man, who was badly injured by suspected thugs, was seen being attended to by men of the Red Cross.

    According to findings, the man was brought from Isolo area of the Akure community.

    Security operatives were seen at various junctions to ensure compliance with the restriction of movements.

    In areas visited, vote buying was not visible as people said money had been shared since the previous night and early on Saturday.

    Also, there were no incident of non functioning card readers in most places visited.

    It was also gathered that security was tight in the riverine Ilaje and Ese Odo Local Government which were in Ondo South Senatorial District.

    The turnout was however relatively low in the area including Okitipupa Local Government.

    Foreign Observers Leave Mararaba Polling Centre after Waiting Endlessly for INEC Officials

    Kuni  Tyessi in Abuja

    Foreign observers that came to monitor election at 009 polling unit in Mararaba,  on the outskirt of Abuja, have left after waiting for over two hours without any INEC staff in sight.

    Over 6,000 persons have gathered to cast their votes. The same situation has also been recorded at 008 polling unit which has over 10,000 voters who have been complaining about INEC officials’ inability  to organise them properly after coming late at about 10:43am.

    At 010 unit in Mararaba, the INEC officials arrived at 10:44am.

    Voter Turnout Impressive in Katsina

    (12:40 PM)

    Francis Sardauna in Katsina

    The turnout of voters for the presidential and National Assembly elections in Katsina State was impressive as people were seen eagerly waiting for the commencement of accreditation and voting.

    The voters, mostly women, were seen at the various polling units in Katsina Local Government Area as early as possible patiently waiting for the commencement of the exercise.

    Election materials, including sensitive and non-sensitive, have also arrived polling units in the state for the elections as early as 8am.

    There was also the presence of unarmed security personnel comprising officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

    In most of the polling units visited by THISDAY, accreditation and voting commenced simultaneously as early as 8:15am as directed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

    At Kofar Fada Unit 001, Dayi community, Malumfashi Local Government Area, accreditation and voting started at about 8:45am and it was the same situation at Unganku Polling Unit 19, and Dayi Primary school Unit 007.

    Governor Aminu Bello Masari, who cast his vote in his hometown, Kafur, polling unit 001, applauded INEC for holding the elections and described the process as successful and expressed optimism that the election would be free and fair.

    He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) needs transparent and credible elections across the country, urging the election umpire to remain neutral in its electioneering processing.

    He said: “We want peaceful, transparent and honest elections that will usher in good leaders; leaders that are elected by people and leaders that will work for the people and Nigeria at large.”

    The governor cast his vote at about 10:45 am in company with security agents and other government officials within the area.

    Meanwhile, as of press time, accreditation and voting were ongoing in some polling units.

    Atiku Lauds Voters’ Turnout in Yola

    (12:40 PM)

    The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has lauded the massive turnout of voters in the Saturday election.

    Abubakar, who spoke with newsmen after casting his vote at Ajiya 02 polling unit of Gwadabawa Ward, Yola North Local Government Area, said he was highly impressed by the turnout.

    “I am impressed with the turnout of the people and I hope that INEC officials will be able to cope with the crowd”.

    Abubakar, who expressed hope of winning the election, called for a peaceful conduct of the exercise. (NAN)

    INEC Dispatches Experts to Rectify Faulty Card Readers in Kano

    (12:20AM)

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kano State says it has dispatched its technical experts to some areas to rectify faulty card readers.

    The INEC Assistant Director, Public Affairs in Kano state, Garba Lawal-Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Kano that the experts were deployed following complaints from the affected areas.

    “We have Election Monitoring Spot Centre where we monitor what is going on. So we are going to rectify the faulty card readers,” he said.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were complaints from some of the polling centres across the state that some card readers were faulty.
    He gave assurance that the commission would address the challenges to enable all eligible voters exercise their franchise.

    “The commission has sent its technical experts to rectify the faulty card readers found in some places, “he said.

    Meanwhile, the election in Kano state was peaceful as there was no reports of any violence or breach of peace from across the state.

    There is large turnout of voters in Sabon-gari area of Fagge Local Government Area of Kano state with voting commencing before 9 am.

    The Supervising Presiding Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC), Malam Mohammed Kabir, said he slept at the centre to ensure early commencement.

    A voter, Mr Eze Collins, a painter said he was impressed with the massive turnout of people and their orderly conduct.

    “INEC officials coming early will allow everybody to vote without any stress,’’ he said.

    NAN reports that the electorates are casting their vote accordingly without any problem as there is adequate security in the premises. (NAN)

    Over 50 NYSC Members Stranded at Enugu INEC Office

    More than 50 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), said to be on ad hoc duty, are currently stranded at the National Independent Electoral Commission [INEC], Enugu State headquarters.

    A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the corps members, who were seen looking distressed as some of them lay on the ground, had waited for hours for the INEC officials to address them.

    Few of them, who spoke on condition anonymity, said they were trained as ad hoc workers and were asked to report at the INEC headquarters, Enugu, for posting.

    They said since Friday when they arrived at the commission’s office till the time of filing this report on Saturday, nobody had addressed them on condition of their ad hoc service for the elections.

    “We are no longer finding the situation conducive, hence we might leave since we do not know our fate here,’’ they said.

    But a top INEC official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “We are working on instructions and directives from above.

    “Once there is chance to fix them somewhere, we will do that fast.’’ (NAN)

    Osinbajo, Wife vote in VGC Polling Centre

    (12:19 PM)

    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, voted on Saturday at the Code 33, Polling Unit II, Victoria Garden City(VGC), Lagos at 10.53a.m.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that voting commenced at the polling unit at 10. 34 a.m. due to late arrival of officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).

    Osinbajo, who arrived the unit at 10.28 a.m. voted at 10.53a.m.

    Speaking with newsmen shortly afterwards, Osinbajo expressed optimism that the exercise would be fair, credible and peaceful.(NAN)

    Voting Yet to Commence in Igando Polling Unit

    (12:18 PM)

    Obinna Chima

    Voting is yet to commence at polling unit 003A at Igando, Alimosho, Lagos as at 11.58am.

    When THISDAY sought to know the reason for the delay, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and NYSC members said the card readers were malfunctioning and that they were awaiting the arrival of the supervisor of the polling unit.

    The voters who had been waiting since 8am, insisted that the electoral officials would not leave the polling unit unless they vote.

    “The officials are suggesting we vote manually, but no election will hold here without the card readers,”Chidi Oriaku, one of the registered voters at the polling unit said.

    Nasarawa Gov Votes, Describes Poll Hitch-free

    (12:18 PM)

    Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia

    The Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura cast his vote at 11:08am at his Kofar Wambai polling office unit (PU004) of Gayam Ward, Lafia Local Government Area.

    The governor, who came to the polling unit alongside the North-central zone National Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Suleiman Wambai, expressed his satisfaction with the level of the electoral process.

    Al-Makura also commended the security men at the polling unit, saying he was optimistic that the exercise will be hitch free devoid of violence, adding that the state would maintain its status of non-violence during the elections.

    Late Arrival of Election Officials, Materials Delay Voting in Mararaba

    Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

    Late arrival of voting materials, absence of INEC officials and voters inability to locate their centres were some of the challenges faced at Mararaba, a town on the outskirt of the Federal Capital Territory.

    Mararaba, a town in Nasarawa state with a large population, is adjudged to be the highest in terms of tax payment in the entire state.

    Voters who spoke with THISDAY, claimed they had been at the Assignment Primary School, Ward 007 since 7am and as at 11: 35am, only some voting materials which arrived at 9:47 were seen being watched over by ad-hoc staff comprising of youth corps members.

    At Gbagalape, Ward 021, the same challenges were recorded as youth corps members, security personnel comprising the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigeria Police were positioned close to the voting materials while voting was yet to start as at 11am.

    One of the ad-hoc staff, who preferred to remain anonymous, blamed the late arrival of materials and INEC staff on logistics.

    He said: “Too many people were at the secretariat at the same time to collect the voting materials. Apart from that, there were no vehicles available to bring them here. “

    The voters who had vowed to protect their votes were seen queuing up and waiting, but complaining about the delay which some claimed was a ploy to disenfranchise them.

    One of the voters, Paulina Sunday, said: ” They know what they are doing and it’s deliberate. They should say that they don’t just want us to vote. They said 8 o’clock and why is it that they are not here? They just want to waste time so that we don’t vote at the end of the day.”

    Another voter, Zachariah Anzigah, said: “Whether they like it or not, we must Vote in this ward. I hope they will extend the time. Many people have started voting and we are still here. Madam look at the time and look at the hot sun, is this fair? We must vote and wait to protect our votes.”

    PDP Laments Late Arrival of INEC Officials in Ilorin

    *Election materials mixed up in some polling units

    (11:55 Am)

    By Vanessa Obioha and Hammed Shittu

    The Director-General of the Peoples Democratic Party Governorship Campaign, Sulaiman Abubakar, on arrival at the polling units in Ode-Opobiyi, Ajikobi Ward, Ilorin West of Kwara State on Saturday decried the late arrival of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials at some polling units in the state.

    Also, there were concerns over the mix up in the distribution of ballot papers to some wards in Ilorin West local government council area of the state.

    According to reports, some voters could not be able to vote in some wards due to the development.

    For example, ballot papers meant for voters at Alanamu Ward were found at Ajikobi, some for Ubandanwaki were taken to Adewole ward.

    Even, some ballot papers that were supposed to be 140 ballot papers in the booklet were discovered to be 70 ballot papers.

    However, Professor Abubakar said that,”One thing is very clear that we are starting late and we are having technical glitches with the card readers. I want to believe that the INEC staff will be on top of this and hasten the process so we can commence voting”.

    Abubakar also commented on the peaceful conduct of the voters so far experienced in Ilorin.

    He added,”There’s been peaceful conduct so far. Very orderly. I hope it will continue this way and there would be no violence.”

     

    Dogara Votes, Complains of Card Reader’s Malfunctioning

    (11:50 AM)

    Speaker Dogara Votes, Describes Large Turn out As Impressive …As Journalists Pass Through Hell in The Hands of Military Personnel

    Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi

    The Speaker of the House of Representatives and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Dass, Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa Federal constituency, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has described the large turnout of voters as impressive, saying the election process was “fairly okay, and a bit smooth”.

    Dogara, who cast his ballot alongside his wife at his hometown in Bogoro, headquarters of Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State at about 9.47am, also lamented the failure of the card reader to automatically authenticate him.

    According to him, “I think it’s fairly okay, judging by what I have seen here. It’s a bit smooth, but in a sense, you know I had a problem with the card reader, it couldn’t automatically authenticate me. So I had to thumbprint on the voters register for me to vote. So, that is one of the flaws I have noted, even though the process of authentication is repeated twice. But somehow, somehow, the card reader couldn’t accept my finger print. So, I had to thumbprint the voters register for me to vote. That is one of things I have noticed.”

    Earlier, a large turnout of voters in Bauchi State was recorded in several polling units across the state.

    THISDAY checks revealed that hundreds of voters including women were seen standing orderly in the queue eagerly waiting for the commencement of the exercise as INEC officials were seen sorting out voting materials.

    Though voting has not commenced at the crowded Habilla Zaki polling unit in Birshi Miri ward in Bauchi Local Government, voters came as early as 4:00 am to be in the front.

    One of the voters, Dorcas John, at the Habilla John, told THISDAY that she came out at 4am to cast her vote.

    She said despite coming out that early, she still met about 30 others on the queue.

    At Bauchi Club Unit 2 in the state capital, policemen were seen inside the polling unit contravening the 200 meters rules as they were seen chatting with voters as the electoral officers set cubicles for voting.

    Meanwhile, it was nightmare for some journalists covering the elections along the Bauchi-Tafawa Balewa road when armed soldiers harassed them in the course of carrying out their duties.

    The nasty experience first started at Dass Local Government when a fierce looking officer, Lieutenant Y Ahmed, stopped a correspondent chapel bus conveying journalists on election duty.

    The problem started when one of the journalists explained that they were journalists on election duty. This innocent introduction did not go down well with the officer who barked ‘park! park! as his subordinates join the fray to query the journalists.

    “Are you more special than us? If you are on election duty and so what? Park my friend. See my name. You want to see my name? Whoever you want to call call,” he said.
    It took the intervention of the Chairman of the Correspondent’s Chapel, Mr Segun Awofadeji, who was leading the team, to calm the situation after calmly explaining the mission as the Lieutenant became sober.

    High Turnout of Voters as Malfunctioning Card Readers Delay Poll in Ebonyi

    Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki

    There was high turnout of voters in most polling units in Ebonyi State with pockets of malfunctioning card readers.

    As early as 8am, voters had trooped out to the polling units waiting for the arrival of materials and INEC officials to begin accreditation.

    In most of the polling units visited, there was no record of violence as the election was peaceful and orderly and security operatives were present.

    However, in Amagu Inyigba polling unit 007, the malfunctioning of the card readers delayed the accreditation of voters.

    A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Abakaliki/Izzi federal constituency, Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga, complained that they lost one hour trying to fix the card readers.

    At Amaezekwe polling unit in Ezza South, there were initial hitches with the card readers, said to have been caused by lack of technical know-how by the operators.

    The development also hampered the speedy accreditation of the massive crowd at the polling unit.

    At Ishieke Uburu polling unit 004, the card readers malfunctioned, heightening tension on when it would be rectified to attend to the crowd.

    A voter at Igweferi 008 polling unit in Akofia ward, Ezza South Local Government Area, Mr. Fidelis Nweze, noted that though there were high turnout of voters, the card readers were not completely functional.

    Nweze also noted that though the matter had been reported to INEC for possible replacement, he pleaded with the commssion to extend the time allotted for accreditation and voting to enable people who had difficulties with the accreditation to vote.

    He however commeded the electoral body for the smooth conduct of the election but appealed that some of the hitches witnessed on the functionality of the card readers should be addressed before the next election.

    Photo: Motorbikes Conveying Election Officials, Materials to Polling Units

    At Opi Agu, Nsukka local government area of Enugu state, Corper members and other Electoral Officers being conveyed to a Polling Booth on motorbikes. They complained that vehicles were not provided.

    Kogi Gov Casts Vote after INEC Replaces Malfunctioning Card Reader

    (11:27AM)
    Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

    Following the replacement of the malfunctioning card reader by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) personnel, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, was able to cast his vote in his polling unit at Agasa in Okene Local Government council.
    The Unit 11 where the governor cast his vote comprises Upokoro-Agasa ward.

    Before he finally cast his vote alongside his wife, Hajia Rashida, the card reader was bad and it took INEC an hour to replaced it before he could vote.

    He however expressed the hope that his was an isolated case.

    “I am disappointed at INEC, and I hope my own is an isolated case,” he said.

    However, there is large turnout of voters for the election. In most of the polling units visited by THISDAY, people were seen on queues and after accreditation voted.
    In most of the polling units, there were no security agents. However, in Ihima, where the senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Natasha Akpoti, comes from, people came out to vote, with security agents flooding the area.

    In Lokoja, the situation was calm, people came out to vote just like other places.

    Inadequate Materials Hinder Voting in Jos

    Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

    A high turnout of voters in Bukuru metropolis of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State has overwhelmed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) personnel, whose materials were inadequate to meet the needs of the voters.

    When THISDAY visited the commission’s RAC at Islamia Primary School, Bukuru, the corps members who were supposed to move materials to polling units in Bukuru could not do so because there were inadequate markers to be used.

    The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent on ground refused the use of biro in place of markers. She argued that biro marks could easily be erased and the voter could come back to vote again.

    She also complained that some of the result sheets she sighted were fake.

    As at 10:54 am, voting had not commenced in the various polling units in Bukuru metropolis because the various agents are refusing the use of biro in the place of markers.

    Late Arrival of Sensitive Materials, INEC Officials Worrisome, Say Local Observers

    (11:05AM)

    Some domestic observers have expressed concern over lateness in the arrival of sensitive materials and electoral officers at polling unit 006 as at 9.30 a.m. in Karu, Nasarawa State.

    A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent reports that many voters arrive at the polling unit as early as 6.20 a.m. and still waiting as at press time and becoming agitated.

    One of the domestic observers, Mr Jude Ohuakanwa, from Global Policy Advocacy and Leadership Initiatives said he was at the Bakina Ado Primary School at 7 a.m. and saw a mammoth crowd
    of voters.

    He said “as a matter of fact, I doubt if the school compound can accommodate the number of voters.
    It is 7.30 a.m. and there is no shadow of any INEC officials, ad hoc staff or party agents here.

    “The only people that reported early here are the civil defence officials,” Ohuakanwa said.

    He could not understand the delay and hopes the election would eventually hold in the unit.

    Another domestic observer, Mr Anthony Ode, of the Justice Development Peace Commission,
    said the electoral officers were late for about an hour.

    According to him, the lateness will discourage some voters as most of them want to vote and go back to their houses.

    Ode said “as at 8.54 a.m., no electoral officer is in sight.”

    Mr Issac Ngbede, another domestic observer from the African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information
    Development, was impressed at the turnout of voters but worried at the lateness of the INEC officials.

    He, however, said “the process would be conducted peacefully.”

    One of the eligible voters, Mr Godwin Penang, who said he had been at the polling unit before 7 a.m. added that
    he would not be discouraged but would wait for as long as it would be possible for him to cast his vote.

    Law enforcement officers could not be reached to ascertain what the issue was with unit 006, Karu ward.

    Karu has 13 units and 006 is one of them.(NAN)

    Late Arrival of Materials Delay Voting in Rivers

    (11:00 AM)

    Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

    In most parts of Rivers State, there was high voter turnout but materials arrived late at most
    Centres.

    At Port Harcourt Ward 12, Unit 8, Rumuwoji (Mile 1), voting started by 9.50am.

    At the RAC Centre located at Township School, Moscow Road, which covers Wards 5, 6 and 7 of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, materials were yet to arrive as at 9.30am.

    Reports from across the state indicate that the election so far has been peaceful.

    There is heavy security presence in Port Harcourt and environs.

    Voters Await Election Materials in Ikotun Area of Lagos

    (10 :56 am)

    INEC ad-hoc staff faces logistics delay as at As at 10:10am on Saturday, INEC ad hoc staff were still waiting for buses to convey materials to their respective polling unit at Government Technical College Ikotun, Alimosho Local Government area of Lagos state. (Photo: Kunle Ogunfuyi)

    Amid Fanfare, Saraki Casts His Vote

    (10:43 AM)

    By Vanessa Obioha and Hameed Shittu

    Amidst fanfare, the Senate President Bukola Saraki arrived his polling unit 005 in Ode-Opobiyi, Ajikobi Ward Ilorin West, Kwara State to cast his vote around 10am.

    A large group of supporters besieged him despite the heavy presence of Directorate of Security Services (DSS) agents and military officers.

    The No.3 citizen in company with his mother Florence, his wife Toyin and son Seeni made his way to the polling booth as supporters surged at him.

    At 10.20 a.m, Saraki voted alongside his wife amidst shouting “Oloye, Oloye, Oni subu (You will not fall down)”.

    Speaking with journalists at his polling unit 005, Saraki who expressed satisfaction with the large turnout of the voters, berated INEC over the late arrival of election officers and electoral materials to the polling unit.

    “I want to tell you that you should not allow the development to stop you from coming out. I want to call on you to come out enmasse to cast your votes so as to advance the growth of the community and Nigeria in general,” he told the voters who swarmed him.

    Soldiers Attempt to Prevent Voters from Accessing Polling Units in Kaduna

    (10:48 AM)

    By John Shiklam in Kaduna

    There was a mild drama at the Stadium Roundabout, Kaduna, when soldiers attempted to stop people from accessing their polling units.

    The soldiers had prevented residents of the southern part of Kaduna metropolis whose polling units are in various places at the city centre.

    The soldiers, who mounted a road block at the roundabout, had stopped people from driving to the city centre, where their polling units are located, saying that they had orders from above not to allow any movement.

    Displaying their permanent voter cards (PVCs), the stranded voters who started chanting “Buhari Must Go” insisted that nobody will stop them from accessing their polling units.

    The soldiers also attempted to seize mobile phones from journalists who were taking pictures of the incident, but the journalists stood their ground, insisting that they were performing their constitutional duties like the soldiers as well.

    The intervention of a senior army officer avert the situation which would have been chaotic. The officer ordered that all those with their PVCs should be allowed to pass.

    Meanwhile, Governor Nasir el-Rufai and the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj. Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, queued among hundreds of voters in their polling unit 024, Runka/Marnona opposite NDA, Anguwan Sarki, Kaduna North Local Government Area.

    Residents of Kaduna south, protesting against being prevented by soldiers from accessing their polling units in Kaduna metropolis.

    Presidential Candidate of the PDP, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and his Wife, Titi, voted at Ajiya 012 polling unit in Yola, Adamawa State capital at about 10:07 am.

    Police Arrest Journalists, Impound Vehicles for Covering Election

    (10:40 AM)

    By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

    Five journalists from major national dailies have been arrested by a team of fully armed police officers close to the home of the vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi.

    The police officers, who came in five unmarked police vans, fully loaded and armed, trailed the journalists from the home of the vice-presidential candidate where they covered him while voting.

    The police officers, who refused to identify themselves, simply blocked the vehicle used by the journalists, ordering them out and collecting the key to their vehicles, before releasing them and driving off with the keys, leaving the journalists stranded.

    The journalists, Mr Nwanosike Onu of The Nation, Geoffrey Anyanwu of Sun, David-Chyddy Eleke of THISDAY, Vincent Ujumadu of Vanguard and Tony Okafor of Punch were denied the opportunity to even introduce themselves, despite wearing INEC apron, provided for journalists.

    One of the officers simply told the journalists that they acted on instruction, and would not listen to anyone, not even journalists on duty.

    THISDAY gathered that the officers, who were more than 50 in number, were on a coordinated operation to ensure that election coverage in the stronghold of the PDP in the state was characterised with fear.

    The Anambra State police spokesman, SP Haruna Mohammed, who was contacted by the stranded journalists, promised to help retrieve the vehicle keys, while also promising to reach out to the stranded journalists who are helpless at Ogbu junction in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area.

    Shortly after the incident, one of the trucks returned and requested to take away the driver of the vehicle, but the journalists resisted the arrest, causing the team to drive away.

    As at the time of filling this report, the journalists are still stranded at Agulu.

    Voting Yet to Start in Dutse Alhaji Area of Abuja

    (10:37AM)

    Chineme Okafor and Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

    Voting was yet to state at polling unit 001 Dutse Alhaji, FCT, as at 9:30am. Corp members sent to polling unit 002A could not locate their voting points.

    They said the large crowd there was beginning to get agitated so they had to leave and come back to Rac centre LEA Primary school Dutse Alhaji.

    In Wuse, election started late by 9.30am and 9.19am at Polling Units 18 and 19 Wuse 2 respectively.

    At Polling Unit 18, the Polling Officer complained of predominant card reader malfunction, and disorderly conduct of voters. As at the time of filing this report, officials of INEC were seen sorting out the card reader issues and they told THISDAY the challenge will be sorted out for voting to take place. Voting commenced as soon as officials sorted out the card reader issues.

    At Polling Unit 19, the Polling Officer stated that they were early to the unit but had no chairs and tables to work with, hence, the late commencement of voting. The process was however orderly and voting commenced as at the time of filing this report.

    Voters’ turnout was equally impressive at both units.

    Election Process Worrisome, Says Obi

    (10:30 AM)

    By Kasie Abone in Agulu

    The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, has described the process of the ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections as clumsy.

    Giving his verdict after casting his vote, Obi said it took quite a while before he could vote, though he was number two on the queue.

    Apparently, the delay was caused by a malfunctioning Card Reader. The former Governor of Anambra State disclosed that the Card Reader had to be worked on before it came alive. He added that if many Nigerians had to go through a similar experience, then it was worrisome.

    According to Obi, “The card reader failed several times before it passed. If this is the process Nigerians are going to go through it’s a bit worrisome. There are reports that in some places the cards are not working but in my place where it’s working it took a while.”

    Asked if he had confidence in this election, he said “I have confidence in Nigeria. I have confidence in everything Nigeria is doing because it’s in line with everything that happens in Nigeria. I would not expect it the way it happens in England.”

    Large Turnout at Polling Units Queuing in Kubwa, Abuja

    (10:20 AM)
    Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

    Today’s presidential election commenced peaceful in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja with large turnout of voters at various polling units.
    THISDAY monitoring crew which visited most of polling units early in the morning confirmed that the INEC officials and the Youth Corp members serving as ad hoc staff arrived on time with voting materials.

    The first polling unit visited by THISDAY was 0012 at Phase 4 where the officials were seen putting things in order to commence voting as at 8.10am. At the polling unit 009, in Phase 3, which had three voting points, voters came out in large numbers eagerly checking out their names to start voting. The materials arrived at 8.15 am.

    Also at polling unit 004 in PW-Kubwa,_accreditation and voting began in earnest as at about 8.20 am. The same goes for polling unit 003 which recorded a very large turnout of voters. Voting started by 8.20 am.

    Similarly at another polling unit at Kubwa Village market area, 006, thousands of voters were seen filing out to cast their votes. In all the polling units so far visited by THISDAY in Kubwa, the people conducted themselves peacefully without any incident.

    Voters Await INEC Officials at Several Polling Units in Lagos

    (10:14 AM)

    Some voters who rose up early to cast their votes at several polling units in Lagos had to wait for the arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials as polls opened in the country at 8.00 a.m.

    In Epe, few voters at the Ogunmodede Junior and Senior College in Papa Epe, Epe, where Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is expected to vote, were still awaiting INEC officials as at 8.21 a.m.

    Few security officials were also on ground at the school.

    In Ebute-Meta West, some voters who arrived early complained about INEC officials’ absence at Apapa Road Ward 004a and 004b, Elena Primary School.

    As at 8:25 a.m, voters continued to hang around the Ebute-Meta West ward for the election which was supposed to kick off by 8:00 a.m.

    Eligible voters in Badagry, a coastal town in Lagos State, besieged different voting units as early as 7:00 a.m. awaiting the arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission official to conduct election.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there were more than 300 voters at the Ansar-Udeen Grammar School, Badagry for polling units 03 and 04, waiting for INEC officials.

    As at 8:20 a.m., the situation was the same at Badagry Grammar School, which would serve as one of the collation centres, as well as polling units 01 and 02, where the officials of INEC were seen waiting endlessly for vehicles to take them to different polling units.

    One of the polling officers told NAN that they slept in the school so that they could get to their destinations on time.

    According to her, we are still waiting for the vehicles that will convey us to our polling units.

    Meanwhile, INEC officials have arrived Ikoga, Igborosun, Pota polling units as early 8:04 a.m. and the voting process has commenced.

    Mr Tunji Akande, a voter at Badagry Grammar School said it was sad that when voters left their homes as early as 6:00 a.m. and walked to the polling station, they had to wait till 9:00 a.m. for INEC officials.

    “This is unfortunate; we learnt the election will start by 8:00 a.m. but unfortunately, nothing is happening here,” he said.

    NAN reports that the bus conveying the officials arrived at 8:42 a.m. and carried the stranded INEC officials to their duty posts.

    Accreditation and voting were yet to commence at Polling Unit 009 at Daura Road/Ashanti/Randle Roads in Apapa, as of 8.45 a.m.

    The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jimi Agbaje, is expected to vote at the polling unit.

    NAN reports voters as many as 50 were seen on the queue, waiting for the commencement of the process.

    Though electoral officers arrived the polling units with materials on time, they spent much time pasting voter registers and making other preparations for the process.

    The situation at the polling unit, however, remained calm as voters were orderly and security men were around to check any breach of peace.

    The situation was the same at polling unit 1, Modiq /Fagbayi/Queens Barracks in Apapa as the process commenced.

    Unlike at Agbaje’s polling unit, where there was a long queue of voters waiting, the electoral officers were the ones waiting for voters.

    As of 9:00 a.m., a couple of voters were seen arriving at the polling unit to partake in the process.

    Meanwhile, Lagos roads were free of vehicular movement due to the restriction of movement, while security personnel were seen on the roads to maintain law and order ahead of the general elections. (NAN)

    (10:01AM)

    Army, Security Agencies Take over Abuja-Keffi Highway

    MIlitary and security operatives on Saturday morning, took over the Abuja-Keffi highway, to enforce the restriction of movement during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the operatives, who mounted checkpoints at different spots in Mararaba, a suburb of Abuja, subjected road users to thorough search.

    For almost an hour, soldiers at the Kugbo military checkpoint blocked the lane leading to the nation’s capital, causing a heavy traffic buildup.

    Affected were eligible voters and those on essential duties, including security personnel, election workers and journalists, heading to Abuja.

    The soldiers, who paid ears to pleas and explanations, said they were enforcing the restriction on movement.

    When reminded that those on essential duties were exempted, they said they were following orders.

    They later opened the road following intervention by some individuals believed to be senior security officers.(NAN)

     

    Late Arrival of Materials, Officials Delay Voting in Kano

    (9:58Am)

    Late arrival of election materials at most of the polling centres delayed the commencement of voting in Tarauni and Nasarawa local government areas of Kano state on Saturday.
    A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored the election reports that while security personnel and the electorate arrived at the polling centres as early as 7:00 a.m., INEC officials failed to show up with the election materials.

    At Tarauni Asibiti polling centre, security agents and voters were seen awaiting the arrival of materials and INEC officials.

    One of the voters who spoke to NAN said he came to centre around 7:56 a.m. with the hope meeting the electoral officers but was disappointed.

    Similarly, at Garden polling centre, the story was the same as there was no single INEC official while only voters and security agents were seen waiting for the arrival of the election materials and officials.

    When NAN visited the Garden Collation Centre around 8:00 a.m., the election materials were being distributed to various polling centres, while security personnel kept vigil there.

    At Gyadi-gyadi Arewa polling centre, located at the Women’s Centre, the materials and election officials were already on ground as at 8:15 a.m. trying to sort things out.

    At Magwan polling centre within the Giginyu Ward in the Nasarawa local government area, the materials and INEC officials were nowhere to be found as only security agents and voters awaited the arrival of materials as at 8:30 a.m.

    NAN observed that the turnout of voters, especially men, was impressive at most of the polling centres visited in the two local government areas.

    Most of the voters who spoke to NAN expressed disappointment with the late arrival of materials and officials at the polling units, and they urged INEC to address the challenge. (NAN)

    Massive Turnout of Voters in Karu Area of FCT

    (9:30AM)
    Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

    Electoral officers in Karu, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are currently striving hard to control a large crowd of voters in polling units.
    In Unit 010, near Area Court for instance, the turn-out is overwhelming.

    However, up to the time of filing this report at about 9.20am, accreditation is yet to begin as the electoral officers are still making arrangements for the take-off of the accreditation process.

    But voters who queue up in aphabetical order of their names are calm and patient, eagerly waiting to cast their votes.

    However, the turnout at CBN Quaters, another part of Karu is even larger, thus proving wrong the assumptions that turnout will be low today as a result of the postponement of the election last weekend.

    Massive Turnout of Voters in Karu Area of FCT

    (9:37AM)

    Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

    Electoral officers in Karu, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are currently striving hard to control a large crowd of voters in polling units.

    In Unit 010, near Area Court for instance, the turn-out is overwhelming.
    However, up to the time of filing this report at about 9.20am, accreditation is yet to begin as the electoral officers are still making arrangements for the take-off of the accreditation process.

    But voters who queue up in aphabetical order of their names are calm and patient, eagerly waiting to cast their votes.

    However, the turnout at CBN Quaters, another part of Karu is even larger, thus proving wrong the assumptions that turnout will be low today as a result of the postponement of the election last weekend.

    Buhari Votes

    By Nseobong Okon-Ekong

    President Muhammadu Buhari has voted in the ongoing Presidential and National Assembly elections at his Polling Unit 003 Kofar Barau III Gidan Niyam Registration 01 Sarkin Yara A in Daura Local Government Area of Katsina State.

    Buhari, who was listed as Voter No. 187, carrying the Voter Identification Number 90F5B 02C90 29569 4732, arrived the polling unit located along Waziri Road, Tone Quarters, Sarkin Yaura A, in the vicinity of the palace of the Emir of Daura at about 8.00am.

    He was duly accredited and within 10 minutes had completed the voting procedure.

    He told journalists that he was happy that Nigerians have decided to exercise their franchise. He said he was happy that the process was going on well.

    Replying to a question on whether he will congratulate the winner if he did not win, the president said: “I will congratulate myself because I expect to win this election.”

    He waived at the reporters and departed for his house.

    Other members of the president’s household also listed at the same polling unit include, his wife, Aisha, at No. 182. Hadiza, Safina and Ibrahim are numbered 183, 189 and 184 respectively.

    Obi Casts Vote, Says He was Harrassed by Security Agents

    (9:38 AM)

    By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

    The vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Peter Obi, and his wife Margaret have cast their votes in the presidential and National Assembly elections.

    Obi cast his vote at exactly 8:55am at his Amatutu Village polling unit, Agulu ward 2, in Anaocha Local Government area of Anambra State.

    Speaking to journalists after casting his ballot, Obi said it was too early to confirm that the process was going smoothly, but promised to confirm so later in the day after reaching out to voters in other parts of the country.

    Obi however revealed that security agents Friday night went after some known PDP stalwarts in the state.

    He told journalists that he was also harassed by security agents but refused to say more about it.

    “The answer to your question is capital yes. Most of our members, including myself were harassed by security agents last night,” Obi said.

    When prodded further, Obi said: “I cannot speak further than this, but you just heard me say yes. The answer to that question is yes, I was also harassed.”

    THISDAY gathered that some PDP stalwarts in Anambra had been arrested late Friday night by security agents.

    Some of those said to have been visited include Mr Joe Martin Uzodike, a known ally of Peter Obi, and another, Jeff Ezeukwu in Alor community of Anambra State, the hometown of the Minister of Labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

    INEC Officials Arrive Late at Senate President’s Polling Unit

    (9:37 AM)
    By Vanessa Obioha and Hameed Shittu in Kwara state

    At the traditional homestead of the Senate President Bukola Saraki, Agbaji, Kwara State, a great number of citizens arrived early to cast their votes but there were no INEC officials on ground.

    As at 8:50 am, election materials were yet to arrive the venue. With the absence of the officials at the Ode-Opobiyi polling unit, Ajikobi Ward in Ilorin West, the motley crowd of women, men and youths engage in discussions while some roam the narrow street.

    There is also the presence of military men and heavily armed police officials carrying out checks along the road.

    One of the voters, an elderly woman who refused to disclose her name, said she has been at the polling unit since 6:30 am.

    “No matter the time, we will still wait for the INEC official to arrive because we are here to vote,” she said.

    A member of Saraki’s family, Thonope Saraki, said he has been at the polling unit since 7am.

    “Some people have been here since 6:30am. It is quite discouraging that the INEC officials are not yet here. It shows the unpreparedness of the electoral umpire,” he said.

    By the time the INEC officials finally arrived at 9:06am, the voters struggled to form a queue so as to do accreditation and cast their vote.

    Large Turnout of Voters in Ekiti

    (9:34 AM)

    Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

    There were high turnout of voters in Ekiti State in the presidential and National Assembly elections.

    The security arrangements were such that four policemen guarded each of the polling units.

    As early as 8am, virtually all the polling units in the state capital witnessed heavy clusters of voters, while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) staff came as early as 8am to attend to the people.

    Most of them trekked several kilometres to get to their polling units due to the restrictions placed on vehicles.

    The state police commissioner, Mr Asuquo Amba, lauded the process, particularly the large turnout of voters.

    He said his men and officers are all over Ekiti to ensure that sanity prevails.

    “Our men are all over the place and we are getting favourable feedbacks across the state. We are on ground and all the voters and INEC staff including election materials are safe,” he said.

    Also, a presidential aide, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, after voting at Adeyinka Jimba unit 009B at Ward 8 in Ado Ekiti, applauded INEC and security agencies for their peaceful conduct.

    Ojudu, who is the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, added that the level of credibility of the polls will be high if the situation in Ekiti persist all over the country.

    Abuja Records Massive Turnout of Voters

    (9:32 AM)

    Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

    Contrary to fears that there may be voter apathy due to the postponement of elections last week, there was massive voter turnout in the nation’s capital on Saturday.

    At polling Unity 003 at LEA Primary School, Dutse Sagwari, the turnout was massive and the electoral officers had to give numbers to voters so as to ensure orderly conduct.

    Voters came out early enough even before the arrival of electoral officials.

    Though, voting was yet to start at polling unit 003 at the time of filing this report, everywhere was calm and the security personnel were on ground to ensure law and order.

    Ad hoc Staff, Election Materials Yet to Arrive Polling Units in Lafia

    (9: 32 AM)
    Emmanuel Ukumba in Lafia

    Virtually all the ad hoc staff and election materials meant for the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections were yet to arrive in most of the polling units in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, as at 9am.

    A visit by THISDAY to the Kofar Wambai Polling Unit (PU 004) of Gayam Ward (RA 08) in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State showed that voters had turned out in large numbers to exercise their civic responsibility only to discover that the election officials and voting materials were yet to arrive the polling unit.

    An observer, who spoke to THISDAY, said that in most of the polling units she visited, neither the ad hoc staff nor election materials were around.

    Security was poor in most of the polling units visited particularly at the Kofar Wambai Polling Unit, which is the Al-Makura’s voting centre where a police officer was stationed to provide security to the over 500 voters.

    Voters Troop to Polling Centres in Lafia

    (09 :30 AM)

    Voters in Lafia, Nasarawa State are in high spirit to cast their votes in the rescheduled Presidential and National assembly elections.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that most voters came to their various polling unit within the metropolis as early as 7:00am to queue and wait for electoral officials.

    At Bukan-sidi polling units, voters were seen anxiously waiting with some gathered in clusters with security agents on ground to ensure a smooth exercise.

    Dr Blaise Okwaraoha, a voter at Bukan-sidi polling unit 17, said he came out before 7:00am to queue and perform his civic responsibility early.

    Okwaraoha said he was enthusiastic to cast his vote because he believed his vote would count.

    He expressed doubt the postponement of the election last week would affect the voter turnout as most voters had put the incident behind them.

    Similar enthusiasm is observed at Ungwan-mangu policing unit of Akurba ward, Lafia-East primary school in Ciroma ward as well as Lukumanu polling unit at Makama ward.

    As at the time of filling this report (8:18am) electoral officials were yet to arrive at the Lafia-East primary school polling unit at Ciroma ward and other polling units within the metropolis. (NAN)

    Sokoto Electorate Arrive Early for Polls

    (09:00AM)

    By Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto

    As Nigeria go to the polls to elect their leaders who will pilot their affairs for the next four years voters in Sokoto State have come out early en masse to queue awaiting the voting time.

    THISDAY, which visited some polling units within Sokoto metropolis, witness massive turnout of voters.

    Some voters kept vigil at the polling units awaiting daybreak to cast their votes.

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) personnel reported as early as 7:am.

    Details later.
    Massive Turnout of voters in Osogbo

    (08:58AM)

    Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

    Today’s election kicked off in Osogbo smoothly with massive turnout of voters amid tight security.

    Election materials and officials also arrived early in polling units visited by our correspondent, while accreditation and voting commenced as scheduled.

    Voting is in progress at Laro Timehin Middle School Asubiaro, Osogbo Ward 3 Ataoja

    Buhari Votes in Daura, Says He’s Confident of Victory

    (08:30AM)

    Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

    President Muhammadu Buhari has cast his vote in his Daura, country home.

    The president who arrived the polling booth along with his wife, Aisha, cast his vote at exactly 8.07am after going through the initial accreditation at 8.04 am.

    Buhari voted about two minutes after his wife, Aisha, had earlier voted at about 8.05am.

    The president who was accompanied to the polling booth by his security aides later answered questions from journalists, commending the process, saying it had been smooth.

    Asked if he would concede defeat if he lost the election, Buhari said he knew he would be congratulating himself after the poll because he was sure of victory.

    Osinbajo, Wife to Vote in Lagos

    (08:20AM)

    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo, will exercise their franchise in the 2019 presidential election at the Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lagos on Saturday.

    Osinbajo, who is from Ikenne, Ogun State, lived and worked in Lagos before he became vice president in 2015.

    He was Attorney-general and Commissioner of justice in Lagos State from 1999 until 2007.

    Osinbajo also worked as a professor of law at the University of Lagos for many years.

    The vice president arrived in Lagos for the exercise following close of campaigns on midnight Thursday. (NAN)

    Buhari, Wife, 897 Others to Vote at PU 003 Kofar Baru III in Daura

    (08:00AM)

    President Muhammadu Buhari, his wife, Aisha, and 897 eligible voters are expected to cast their votes at the polling unit 003 Kofar Baru III, Gidan Niyam ward, Daura, Katsina State, today.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the list of the eligible voters including that of the president and his wife has since been displayed at the polling unit by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

    The president and his wife are numbered 187 and 182 respectively on the list.

    The presiding officer of the polling unit, Aliyu Abdullahi, who arrived the voting unit as early as 7.08a.m, told NAN that all arrangements had been completed for the commencement of the exercise.

    President Buhari and his wife had on Friday arrived in Daura, his hometown, to participate in the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday.(NAN)

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