BREAKING: Imo Boils, Okorocha Cries Out, ... Ballot Box Snatching, Insufficient Materials Mar Election


The Presidential and National Assembly elections in Imo State were marred by late arrival and insufficient voting materials, as well as abse...

The Presidential and National Assembly elections in Imo State were marred by late arrival and insufficient voting materials, as well as absence of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Officials.

Though the turnout of voters was impressive, they were reported cases of ballot box snatching, shooting, among other repressive actions.

At Egbenu Agbala booth 1 and 2 in Owerri North, there were no ballot papers for the Presidential election and result sheets.

In some places, aggrieved voters alleged that INEC officials in collusion with some politicians made away with the sensitive materials.

There were also reported cases of ballot box snatching by hoodlums dressed in Military and Police uniforms in Aboh Mbaise, Ohaji-Egbema, Oguta, Oru East, Isialla Mbano and Owerri North Council Area.

A former governor of the state, and governorship candidate of the Accord party, Ikedi Ohakim, who could not vote as a result of non-arrival of voting materials in his Osu Owerre Ward 1 in Isialla Mbano Council Area, until 3pm, expressed dissatisfaction over the conduct of the election.

He said that the turnout of voters showed that the people were prepared to participate in the election but were tactically disenfranchised.

Addressing journalists, the former governor, stated that, “here in Osu Owerre Ward 1, we have not seen INEC officials by 1pm and voting will stop by 2pm. I am afraid that this will disenfranchise the people. It is early to say that it is an act of sabotage but I am really disappointed that INEC could not get it right after all the preparations”.

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Also expressing dismay over the late commencement of voting, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Araraume, tasked the electoral umpire to put measure to ensure an improved performance during the next election.

He said, “In Osu Owerre Ward 2, voting materials got here by 1.30pm and the card readers were not functioning until the Electoral Officer came and gave them the code to operate it. INEC should do everything possible to improve in the next election”.

Meanwhile, the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha has expressed satisfaction over the turnout of voters and the conduct of the election.

The governor who addressed journalists shortly after casting his vote at ward 2 Ogboko in Ideato South Council Area alongside his wife, Nkechi Okorocha, confirmed that the postponement did not affect the turnout of voters.

Okorocha who arrived his polling Unit at about 11:04 expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the Presidential election with a wide margin.

He said, “I am here with my wife at ward 2 Ogboko, for now I will say that everything is going on well. There is security everywhere.

“I also had the rumour of ballot box snatching in Osemoto, among other areas. But given the Presidential Order many people are afraid. If not by now you will see a lot of people carrying ballot boxes.

“However, surprisingly there is no voter apathy our people have realized that it is for the future of this country.

“I have full confidence that Buhari will win and I will also win by senatorial election with God on our side”.

Also commending the voters for the massive turnout, the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Uche Nwosu, urged INEC to improve in the subsequent election.

Nwosu noted that insufficient voting materials posed serious challenge to the electorate.