Convener of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Ene Obi, has said that after the initial confusion and fear over the Anambra governorship election, voters were “trooping out” to the polling centres to cast their vote.
Ms Obi, who spoke at one of the polling centres in the state on Saturday, said the voters’ turnout, so far, has been encouraging.
“I think it’s quite encouraging, everywhere is peaceful. Voters are turning out. I think earlier in the day people were just gauging, now we can see a lot of people trooping out,” she said.
She, however, said there were reports of technical hitches as some of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) deployed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were not functioning at some polling units.
BVAS is a new introduction by INEC to help eliminate voter’s impersonation in the Anambra election.Ms Obi said the hitches were later resolved,even as some of the polling centres did not receive election materials early.
“I am excited, I am standing here and just watching people trooping in,” Ms Obi said. She appealed to the voters still at home to come and vote for a candidate of their choice.
Another election observer,Nzenwa Nwagwu, said he was expecting more people to come out and cast their vote by the day.“It’s early in the day, the time is still a bit stretched. We are expecting that those who went to their farm or something will quickly come out,” he said.
Mr Nwagwu said there are voters who may be undecided about coming out to vote because of fear of uncertainty.
“Some of them are testing, they are trying to find out – is it holding or is it not holding?
“But I have a sense of fulfilment and gratitude to Ndi Anambra for heeding our calls and defying all the odds that have thrown on their way, to make today a reality,” he said.
Accreditation and voting are still going on in several polling units across the state, while voting in some other units has been slowed because of logistics challenges.