• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Despite initial hitches, peaceful elections recorded across Nigeria

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After the six-week postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier slated for February 14, 2015, the polls eventually held yesterday across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja.

Although there were noticeable hitches which hampered outright voting in some polling units and later resulted in the extension of voting to today (Sunday), many Nigerians have, however, expressed satisfaction at the level of success recorded.

Leading the pack of those who believe that despite the challenges, history was made by the use of the card reader machines, is President Goodluck Jonathan. The President, who also is the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said it was expected given the fact that Nigeria was passing this way for the first time, expressing optimism that there would be improvement in subsequent elections. A former president of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo, also told our correspondent in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, that he was satisfied at the performance of the card reader.

Our correspondents, who monitored the exercise across the country, said major issues noticed at voting centres had to do with the card reader machines, late arrival of officials of the INEC and lack of presence of security personnel in many polling booths.

BD SUNDAY also noticed that contrary to the apprehension that rose to fever pitch, forcing many people to either travel outside the country or to their villages, the exercise was largely peaceful in many parts of the country. Soldiers confined themselves to major roads and had no business with polling units. There were no incidents of confrontation. Lagos for instance was peaceful. However, there were cases of pockets of violence in Rivers State where about two persons were said to have been killed.

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In Osun State a politicians was reportedly killed. In Enugu, a bomb planted in a vehicle was perfectly detonated by security experts.

Although the weather was inclement in some states in terms of scorching sun, and even as there was rainfall in some areas, voters were undaunted.

Our correspondents also observed a high level of cooperation between the Commission’s officials and voters. Voters went through the accreditation and either waited or went back home and returned to the polling units when the voting was to commence.

Although there were some initial complaints occasioned by logistics challenges which resulted in the late arrival of the officials to the polling booths, as soon as the exercise began, there was peace and tranquility.

CHARLES IKE-OKOH & Zebulon Agomuo