Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has rated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) high on its execution of the election.
Odii stated this on Saturday while briefing newsmen shortly after voting at his IsuAchara polling unit 025 in Onicha Local Government Area (LGA) of Ebonyi at about 10.58 am.
He lauded INEC for improving on its preparation for the governorship and house of assembly election and for ensuring that officials and election materials arrived at the various voting centres in the state.
He called on the electorate to shun violence while urging the commission to ensure the poll was not rigged.
The governorship candidate warned that there would be no room for rigging the election, noting that votes would count and that the choice of the people must emerge from the ballot.
Odii also implored security agents to ensure that the credibility and sanctity of the ballot box were maintained, assuring that he was confident that PDP would come out victorious in the election.
He said: “They should allow the election to be free and let nobody think that we can allow them to rig the election; if anybody thinks he can rewrite the result after writing it, that result will not go, they should allow the people to decide.
“There is so much improvement in the governorship election preparation and reports from our situation room indicate that voting commenced early in several polling units across the state.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who monitored the exercise spoke with a cross-section of voters and reports that voting commenced early in virtually all the polling units across the state.
The voters, while applauding INEC for improving on the process, also commended the commission for ensuring the early arrival of officials and materials to voting centres.
Mr Isaac Okoro, who voted at the Ebebe Play Ground Polling Unit 003, said that INEC officials and materials arrived as early as 7.30 am while accreditation and voting started by 8 am.
“There is a remarkable improvement in the preparation for the governorship and state assembly election when compared with the presidential election of Feb. 25.
“The exercise is peaceful and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation (BVAS) is functioning very well while voters are orderly in their conduct.
“My prayer is that the votes will count and that the best candidates will emerge from the election,” Okoro said.
Mrs Ifunanya Elom, a 75-year-old voter who cast her ballot at exactly 8.30 am at the Enugu Ugwu Polling Unit 004 in Ebonyi Local Government Area, commended INEC for ensuring early commencement of voting and expressed the hope that the outcome would be credible.
“INEC officials arrived with election material to the polling unit by 7 am while accreditation and voting began exactly at 8 am.
“I voted by 8.30 am and the exercise is moving smoothly and orderly; my prayer is for our votes to count,” she said.
At Afikpo North LGA, Chief Anthony Egwu, Commissioner for Works and Energy in Ebonyi, said that men and material of the commission arrived at the Amuro polling unit early while voting started exactly by 8 am.
“The exercise is peaceful, orderly and I commend the commission for improving on the last election,” Egwu said.
Mr Martins Idam, who voted at Amaha polling unit 005 in Afikpo North LGA at 8.45 am, described the election as peaceful and commended INEC for arriving at the Centre on time.
“I’m happy with the way the commission handled the election and also with its peaceful and orderly conduct,” he said. (NAN)