Hourly Update-Anambra Governorship Election: Ngige Ahead

Chief Chris NgigeUpdate: APGA has won Awka-North and South, Onitsha North and South, Aniocha …over Eight LGA’s and Peter Obi now leading…with Ngige of AC coming Second and Soludo of PDP Third

Dateline 3:00 pm Nigerian TimeInformation available to shows the AC governorship candidate Dr Chris Ngige might win the Anambra Gubernatorial election. From the result of our exit polls; Majority of the voters says they voted for Ngige. His support base cuts accross the state. (Soludo’s thugs allegedly carted away voting materials for Aguata LGA) 

Our sources say while the election in Anambra State is peaceful and orderly it is marred by low number that could actually vote from the large turnout of voters. At a ward in Aguleri with 101 registered voters for example, only three people have voted as at 11:00 am.

A source on the ground at Nnewi-South and Nnewi-North also reported majority of the people are rooting for Chris Ngige..

Meanwhile voting may stop by 4:00 pm unless INEC decides differently.

Onitsha-North and Onitsha-South Local Government Areas witnessed huge turnouts, but actual voting did not start on time and many complained of inability to cast their vote. 

However, ALL over the state in, there is some wide bewilderment at INEC Register. Many people that went to vote in most of the polling booths were shocked and surprised that the names on the register are strange, whereas some that registered cannot find their names on the register. Some cards do not match with names of people on the Register.

Some places are without polling booth, some have no ballot boxes while in some other places, voting started late.

At Awka Ward 2 collation centre, results from 13 out of 16 Polling Booths are not being collated because there was no voting.

At Ezinkwo, Awka Ward 3, several citizens from majority of the polling booths also did not vote.

Dateline: 4:00 pm: There is confusion at Awka Ward 2 centre as the INEC officials insists on stopping the vote while people are stopping them from going because they have not voted.

Citizens from Centre 005 are particularly angry because they did not vote.

Observers are of the preliminary view that there are some improvements in this election in that the problems witnessed is not a problem with people, nor of thuggery, police rigging or other para-military agencies, but the that of INEC creating the problems themselves; incompetence and inefficiency.

The votes at at Umuzocha Town Hall, Awka Ward 2 have been collated and counted and Peter Obi of APGA appeared to have won at this polling centre.

We are still collecting information from sources on the ground.

Voting have stopped around the State, unconfirmed reports say, Chris Ngige appears to have won in Nnewi-North and Nnewi South Local Government Areas.

Reports reaching us indicate that voting materials at Isuofia, Aguata Local government were loaded in Soludo’s Van and carted away to an undisclosed location. 

Party agents present at the polling stations say the van left with no trace as there was no police officer present at the scene of the incident.

At the Police Divisional Headquarters in Ekwulobia, Aguata LGA, however, policemen are said to be stranded with no vehicle to take them to their assigned polling stations. Many have resorted to hitch-hiking on motorbikes and the few commercial buses plying the routes. 

INEC Executives are blaming the police for the delay in the arrival of election materials but the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Chukumma Soludo van went off with the materials.

Meanwhile voting materials are yet to arrive in most polling stations especially in Umueze ward 1, Ezi Egege polling unit.  

There were delays as many polling stations remained closed for hours because some police officers refused to escort ballot papers, saying they had not received allowances.

On Saturday, many polling stations in Anambra opened more than three hours late because of the delays with the delivery of ballot papers. 

“ If this is the way elections will go in 2011 then we are still millennium years away from the right thing ” said Egghead Odewale Independent election observer

“Everything is just in disarray. There is so much confusion in the air and nothing seems to be going on properly,” independent election observer Egghead Odewale told the BBC’s Newshour programme. 

“In a lot of the places, election materials did not arrive on time, materials were not distributed as pre-planned. And in a number of places the voter register was mixed up and voters were unable to locate their names on the voter register. 

“Honestly, if this is the way elections will go in 2011 then we are still a millennium years away from the right thing. It’s really that bad,” Mr Odewale said. 

“We are eager to cast our votes. We are waiting but the materials are yet to arrive,” Sunday Okpala, a voter in a village just outside the regional capital of Awka, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. 

About 23,000 extra police and military have been drafted into the state for one weekend of voting, amid concerns over voter intimidation and violence,according to the BBC’s Caroline Duffield. She adds that this time the electoral commission has promised that the vote will be free and fair.

Nearly two million voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Anambra to choose their governor among 25 contenders.

For real time results, click here,