- Police arrest INEC staff for allegedly attempting to smuggle out BVAS machine
- Voters protest shortage of voting materials
- Otti in early lead, sweeps votes in Aba, Umuahia
From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The governorship and House of Assembly election held in Abia State Saturday was marred by low turnout of voters.
This comes as police in Umuahia arrested an unidentified Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc staff for allegedly attempting to smuggle one of the BVAS machines into one of the offices of Umuahia South Local Government, Ubakala at the request of a chieftain of one of the political parties.
Unlike the federal elections of February 25, Saturday’s state elections witnessed a low turnout of voters.
Many did not turn out for the election owing to the outcome of the presidential poll in which their preferred candidate, Peter Obi of Labour Party, was not declared winner of the election by INEC.
Most voters stayed at home because they believed their votes did not count in the presidential election and the same would happen this time around.
As at 7.30am, INEC staff had arrived Umuhu Ezechi in Bende Local Government Area and many other polling units in the state and voting started by 9am in most polling units.
Turnout of voters was low compared with that of February 25. In one of the polling units in Umuahia with about 700 registered voters, as at about 1pm, only 59 persons had been accredited.
Voters at Ama Mbara Nkata Ibeku, Umuahia protested the shortage of voting materials and vowed not to commence voting until INEC supplies them the complete materials.
A youth leader, Hilary Ochiabuto told newsmen they agreed to boycott elections in their area unless INEC provided the complete number of ballot papers needed for the area.
Notwithstanding, the election was generally peaceful in the state.
In the meantime, police in Umuahia, arrested an unidentified INEC ad hoc staff for allegedly attempting to smuggle one of the BVAS machines into one of the offices of Umuahia South Local Government, Ubakala at the request of a chieftain of one of the political parties.
The said INEC staff was caught by the masses who raised an alarm. The man was handed over to security operatives who took him away.
Reports from Aba and Umuahia indicated that Alex Otti of Labour Party was in early lead in areas where results were released so far in the two cities.