Anambra Election: Top Eight Things We Know So Far

anambra election
Election materials used for the Anambra governorship election.

 

The highly anticipated gubernatorial election in Anambra State was held on Saturday, as scheduled. However, the electoral process has not ended and a governor-elect has not been announced.

For those who might be wondering what went down over the weekend and why a winner has not emerged yet, here are eight key things we are certain of so far and what next to expect as regards the exercise in Anambra:

1. The election was generally peaceful

According to election observers, while the polls were conducted peacefully, there were pockets of trouble. On a general scale, however, the process went smoothly

2. Voter Turnout Was Good

A crowd of voters in one of the polling units.

 

The election on Saturday saw a good turnout of voters as citizens came out to exercise their franchise, contrary to the initial fears that trailed the electioneering process.

Though election monitors say there were no large crowds of voters, they agreed that it was a relief to see citizens come out eventually to exercise their rights.

Also, the media did a fantastic job of following the process without fear, even though prior to the polls, the atmosphere was tense

3. Adequate security presence

Security operatives in one of the polling stations during the election.

 

 

With the massive deployment of men and officers – police officers, army personnel, and other security agents – the presence of security officials were noticeable at most of the polling units. Monitoring teams reported that the operatives were relatively civil in their conduct within and outside polling units.

However, some of the security personnel stated that they had not received their allowances for election duty which was contrary to the pronouncement by police authorities, suggesting that security agents on election duty had been remunerated.


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4. There was widespread vote buying

An electoral officer holding a ballot paper.

 

While the election was adjudged peaceful, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) agreed that there was widespread vote buying in various polling units across the state.

The Situation Room in its report on Sunday gave some specific instances of vote buying to include the sale of votes for amounts ranging from N1,000 and N6,000 at various locations.

The organization, however, noted that this was being carried out very discreetly in some polling units while in others, the vote buying was done in full glare without interference from the security personnel.

5. Resistance, disruptions, and malfunctions

An electoral official verifies the identity of a voter during the election. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The entire electoral exercise had its flaws. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said there was resistance and disruptions to the process.

The commission also admitted that some of its accreditation devices had malfunctioned while others were not successfully deployed to certain areas within the state.

Earlier, the Situation Room had reported that INEC ad-hoc staff and election materials arrived late in 67% of the polling units (PU). The group further disclosed that polls commenced between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm in 53.5% of the voting locations they observed. This, they say, was due to the late arrival of officials and materials.

Also, although the Bimodal Verification Accreditation System (BVAS) had been used in the Isoko South constituency 1 bye-elections, the Anambra guber election was the first major exercise where INEC deployed the BVAS.

Reports from observers indicated widespread malfunction of this technology as it failed to authenticate voters’ fingerprints and detect faces. According to the Situation Room, this was the case in 59% of the polling units observed with a minimum of five minutes to accredit one voter in 65.8% of the polling units they monitored.

Furthermore, some of the ad-hoc staff experienced difficulties in operating the machines. In some locations, they were slow and took as long as 10 minutes or more to accredit a single voter. This, the monitoring agency says, severely stalled the accreditation and voting process.

6. INEC Ad-hoc staff absconded with result sheets

 

The Anambra election was largely peaceful as against initial fears.

 

An INEC ad-hoc staff reportedly absconded with 41 result sheets in Oba 2, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

The Collation Officer for the council, Gabriel Odoh, while presenting the LG’s result on Sunday, stated that the ad-hoc staff carted away 41 result sheets out of the 42, leading to no elections in the area.

Although Mr Odoh did not give the name of the ad-hoc staff, he disclosed that the staff member was the Supervising Polling officer. He also explained that violence and ballot box snatching were recorded in Oba 1.

7. Soludo wins 18 of 20 LGAs declared

APGA governorship candidate, Charles Soludo.

 

There are 21 local governments in Anambra State and as of Sunday, 7th November, INEC had collated and declared results for 20 of the councils whose outcome had been accurately determined.

Following the collation of results, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Charles Soludo, won 18 of the 20 LGAs.

Similarly, candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Valentine Ozigbo, and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, won a local government each

But the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba, was unable to win any local government in the election.

The collation was, however, suspended due to an outstanding result for Ihiala Local Government Area, where for various reasons, INEC could not deploy materials.

With this pending, a winner cannot be declared until a supplementary election is conducted for Ihiala LGA.

8. Ihiala supplementary election holds on Tuesday

The Returning Officer for the Anambra State governorship election, Professor Florence Obi, and other top election officials in Awka on November 7, 2021.

 

Having established that a supplementary poll would be required for Ihiala, INEC has slated Tuesday, November 9 for the exercise.

The Returning Officer for Saturday’s polls, Professor Florence Obi, while disclosing this, noted that the commission failed to hold an election in Ihiala due to security challenges.

She explained that this made it impossible for the electoral body to deploy materials and personnel in the LGA.

Clause 47 of the Revised Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections provides that supplementary elections shall be conducted where the commission, due to logistic challenges, is unable to deploy on election day.

Upon this premise, Professor Obi emphasized that it was imperative to bring Ihiala at par with the other 20 local government areas in the election before INEC can make a valid declaration of the winner or take any further action based on the extant laws.

Authorities have urged the Anambra people to remain calm and law-abiding as the election runs its full course.

Affordable Housing: Suleja Partners With Northern Home Limited

Suleja, Northern Home Limited, HousingThe Suleja Local Government Area (LGA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding in partnership with Northern Home Limited, to provide good and affordable houses for its citizens in Niger State.

In a brief ceremony witnessed by leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and members of staff of Suleja LGA among others, the Chairman of the council, Honourable Abdullahi Maje, expressed his gratitude to God for a successful transaction.

Honourable Maje said the project when completed would help tackle the challenges faced by the LGA in meeting up with the inflow of people into the local government.

Speaking to reporters, the developer, Mohammed Abdulkadir, noted that the bold step taken by the Suleja LGA Chairman was a welcome development, stressing that the people had longed for it before now.

According to the agreement, the local government is expected to provide the developer with 30 hectres of land while the developer would produce 345 plots, water channels, electricity, police outpost, market and medical care unit from the project which is expected to last for a period of one year.

Similarly at the event, Honourable Maje received some relief materials and presented them to victims of a recent fire disaster.

In his words of sympathy, he said no amount of items given to them can replace the ones lost and urged them to take heart.

Items presented to the fire victims include bags of rice, salt and mattresses among others.

Youths Protest Alleged Irregularities Of Shares Payment In Rivers

Youths, Rivers, Elano Investments, Indorama PetrochemicalsYouths in Eleme Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State have protested the alleged negligence of Indorama Petrochemicals to address the payment of dividends accruable to them.

The protesters, drawn from the six communities of the LGA, on Monday stormed the major streets in the state to press home their demands.

The leader of the protest, Benjamin Ngokanya, alleged that a company, Elano Investments Limited, which was appointed to access the shares on behalf of the host communities, had confiscated the returns.

The youths accused the company and Indorama Petrochemicals of working together to deprive the communities of their benefits.

However, both companies denied the allegations.

The Head of Corporate Communications at Indorama Petrochemicals, Jossy Nkwocha, briefed Channels Television crew on their own side of the story.

The matter seemed to have become more controversial, as another set of youth leaders were apparently in support of Elano Investments.

However, various stakeholders have called for a quick resolution of the issues to avert possible violent clash.

Borno Builds 500 Houses For IDPs In Gubio

Borno
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State

The Borno State has commenced the reconstruction of 500 houses destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists.

The Caretaker Chairman of Gubio Local Government Area, LGA, of Borno State, Mr Zanna Modu, said the degrading of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents is hastening the reconstruction.

Reconstructions are focused on residential houses and public structures destroyed by insurgents within communities in the local government area.

Mr Modu added that the problem of food shortage could be attributed to lack of farming activities across the state in the last two years due to the displacement of people from their communities by insurgents.

The UN on Friday warned that families will return to find their homes and farmland destroyed, basic services wiped out and will live under the persistent threat of attacks by the jihadist group.

Since 2009, more than 15,000 people have been killed, with 2.3 million displaced due to Boko Haram activities in Nigeria.

Bayelsa Polls: Police Beef Up Security, Restrict Movement

Police-NigeriaThe Bayelsa State Police Command has issued a statement informing the public that the command has beefed up security with increased foot, vehicular, and waterways patrols, as well as intensive aerial surveillance in all nooks and crannies of the state.

This is ahead of the election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area for which they advised political parties and their contestants to desist from any act capable of disrupting the process.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Asinim Butswat, the command in collaboration with other security agencies have perfected all plans to create an enabling environment for the re-run election in all affected polling units.

Security agencies have been ordered to enforce the restriction of movements of boats fitted with 200 horsepower engine and above.

Likewise, movement of persons, vehicles and tricycles would be restricted on the election date in the entire state from 6:00AM to 6:00PM. Only those on essential duties would be allowed to move.

The electorates in the affected areas have also been advised to come out and exercise their franchise by casting their votes for their preferred candidate.

Police Parade Two Kidnap Suspects, 15 Others In Imo

PoliceThe Imo State Police Command has paraded two suspects allegedly involved in kidnapping and 15 others suspected to be involved in various criminal acts.

The kidnap suspects, Ebuka Ibe, 22 and his accomplice Kelechi Nwogu, also 22, were said to have allegedly kidnapped two male kids of the same parent, who were returning from school at Amazu Amato in Orsu Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State in South-east Nigeria.

The suspects with various acts of crime such as car snatching, armed robbery, kidnapping and other related offences, were paraded by the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Austin Evbakavbokun, on Sunday at the State Command Headquarters in Owerri, the state’s capital.

The Commissioner said the two kidnap suspects were nabbed by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, following a distress call by a law abiding citizen.

He revealed further that the four year old kid, Ckukwuka Ezeribe and his three year old brother, Chigozie Ezeribe, were conveyed by the suspects to a prospective buyer before they were intercepted and arrested by the police.

Mr Evbakavbokun also asserted that the Command would not relent in fishing out criminals in the state. The Command had launched an onslaught on criminals and its ground sweeping operations that cuts across the 27 LGAs of the state.

The Command Spokesman, Andrew Enwerem, advised youths in the state to stay clear of any crime related activities, adding that the Command would not relent in its effort to sanitise the state of crime.

Nevertheless, the suspects pleaded with the police to forgive them, stressing that they got involved in such act to earn a living.

Some of the items recovered from the suspects were guns of different types, a 4Runner Jeep with Lagos registration number ‘KTU 168 AU’, cartridges and stolen handsets.

Mr Evbakavbokun, however, appealed to members of the general public to furnish the police with adequate information that would help in fighting criminals in the state.

SURE-P Funds: Kaduna APC Lawmakers Threaten Gov Yero With Impeachment

Sure-PThe All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus of the Kaduna State House of Assembly have threatened to impeach the State Governor, Muktar Yero, over attempt by the outgoing government to appropriate and disburse N2.7 billion Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds belonging to the 23 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state.

In a session with media after an emergency meeting, the APC members, led by the Deputy Minority Leader, Aminu Shagari, alleged that the move by the outgoing executive to tamper with the LGA SURE-P funds amount to last minute looting and squandering of public funds.

They wondered why a government that has only about two weeks to go can successfully execute any project with such money except for ulterior motive.

The APC legislators, who are 14 in number also alleged that the State Government’s ceding of 50% of the said fund for road project is in total violation of the laid down regulations regarding the SURE-P funds, revealing that this having been indicated in the handing over note of the outgoing government suggests an attempt of last minute looting.

One of the lawmakers, Dr Shehu Adamu, said that any attempt by the Governor to go ahead with plans to access the fund would be resisted through all legal means.

Another lawmaker, Yusuf Zailani also corroborated this adding that SURE-P was conceived by the Nigerian Government arising from the partial removal of subsidy on fuel prices in the country and should be managed properly.

The lawmakers expressed their displeasure with the development, warning the Governor to refrain from dipping hand into the LGA funds.

Yet to respond to the allegation, the Kaduna State Government had constituted a committee in January 2012 with a view to identifying programmes, projects and activities that would be undertaken by the government with its share of the SURE-P funds.

INEC, Kaduna Residents Ready For Saturday Polls

political parties in KadunaKaduna State residents have expressed their readiness to exercise their franchise and elect leaders of their choice in the governorship election of April 11.

They have also expressed the hope that the exercise will be safe and peaceful.

Meanwhile, despite the tension being generated by the coming election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that the polls would be peaceful.

Kaduna State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Hussain Mahuta, told Channels Television that the commission had taken steps to rectify lapses noted during the Presidential and National Assembly elections of March 28.

He identified the challenges experienced to include late arrival of election materials, failure of the smart card reader in some places and delayed voting. According to him, measures had been taken to strengthen security at polling stations.

Mr. Mahuta further stated that all sensitive and non-sensitive materials had been distributed to the 23 local government areas of the state to ensure that accreditation and voting commence on schedule.

Though predicted massive violence at the polls did not occur during the last election, residents of the state capital have stockpiled foodstuff in case of any unfortunate situation.

They are of the opinion, however, that the real test of Nigeria’s democratic process would come this weekend.

Most of the voters, who registered in their villages, had already traveled, while those in the city are preparing and praying for credible elections.

Gaidam Satisfied With Conduct Of Polls In Yobe

YobeGovernor Ibrahim Gaidam has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the Presidential election.

Following reports from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, the Governor said that election in the state went on smoothly despite initial fear of security in the troubled north east geopolitical zone of the country.

With successes recorded during accreditation and subsequent voting in the state, the Yobe State Governor praised INEC, security agencies and other stakeholders for the success of the exercise in the state.

Speaking to Journalists after casting his vote at Bukarti town in Yunusari Local Government Area of the state, Governor Gaidam expressed satisfaction with the performance of the card reader in spite of the much anticipated fear of the new technology being introduced into the nation’s electoral process.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who commended the people of the state for their efforts towards giving peace a chance, hoped similar cooperation would be maintained during the governorship and House of Assembly elections.

Tony Anenih Commends Conduct Of Elections

anenihThe Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih, has commended the peaceful and orderly conduct of the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

Speaking to Journalists shortly after casting his ballot in ward 3, Uzenema Primary School in Arrue-uromi Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, Chief Anenih says, despite the initial hiccups associated with the card readers, there is every reason to be optimistic about the exercise.

Rivers Set For Election, Delivers Electoral Materials

riversThe Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers State, Gesila Khan, has said that “all is now set for the Presidential and Assembly elections in Rivers State.”

The Rivers State REC gave this assurance, during the formal delivery of sensitive materials from the CBN at the premises of the electoral body in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Taking an inventory of the materials which included ballot papers and result sheets, the REC said that, all materials would immediately proceed to all the local government areas in the state.

The Commissioner of Police also gave the assurance that these sensitive materials would be adequately secured.

The CP also hinted that his men were under stern instructions to ensure that security was guaranteed during the polls.

SDP Campaigns In Edo North

sdpWith about 11 days to the 2015 general elections, the Social Democratic Party, SDP in Edo State is intensifying its campaigns across different Local Government Areas of Edo North Senatorial District.

At a rally in Aviele, Etsako West Local Government, as well as Owan West Local Government Area, leader of the party, Abubakar Momoh, ask residents in communities to support the SDP, as it is the party that would give them a new lease of life.