The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission has reportedly experienced a setback in the ongoing Local Government elections in the state.
It was gathered that voting couldn’t commence at some polling units as scheduled due to the late arrival of materials.
Accounts from eyewitnesses revealed that voters were seen in queues as early as 8:00 a.m., ready to vote, however, voting didn’t commence in most units until noon.
The voting exercise, slated to start at 8:30 a.m., was delayed at several polling units, including Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, and Egor local government areas.
While voting started at Unit 7 Ward 4, Egor LGA, at about 10:30 a.m., materials arrived at some units a few minutes before 10:00 a.m. within the Benin metropolis.
A Peoples Democratic Party agent told the News Agency of Nigeria that non-sensitive electoral materials were still being sorted and dispatched from Ward 2 Oredo LGA Collation Centre to units in the riverine areas as of noon.
It was learned that some political parties’ agents had defied the heavy downpour to arrive at the polling units as early as 8 a.m., only to meet the absence of electoral materials and electoral officers at their polling units.
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 came in with electoral materials by 9:37 a.m.
At Oredo LGA, materials were yet to arrive at their various units by 10:15 a.m. while voters were already waiting at units 1 to 3 Ward 12 in front of Oba Market despite the closeness to the Oredo LGA secretariat.
Similarly, at units 11 and 31 in Ward 1 of Oredo LGA, materials were still expected at 10:30 a.m.
However, the situation was different in Auchi, Etsako West LGA, where materials arrived early in most polling units, but the low turnout of voters characterised the exercise in the area.
Even though materials arrived at about 9:00 a.m. with security personnel on the ground at about 9:00 a.m., only a few voters were seen at the polling units to cast their vote.
At Ward 11, Units 2, 8, and 9 in Jattu, Auchi Ward 4, unit 5, 6, Fugar, Ward 7, units 7, 8, 9, and Obe primary school, Few voters were on the ground to cast their votes.
At Auchi Ward 4, units 5 and 6, materials arrived at about 9.00 a.m. with security personnel on the ground, but few voters were seen.
In Fugar, Ward 7, units 7, 8, 9, and Obe primary school, low turnout was recorded as few people came out to vote.