Early results from the ongoing governorship election in Anambra State show candidates of the three major contending parties Charles Soludo of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Andy Uba of All Progressives Congress (APC), and Valentine Ozigbo of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) all won in their respective polling units.
The APC candidate, who voted at Saint Peter’s Catholic School, Uga Ward 16, Polling Unit 10 of Aguata Local Government, scored 80, followed by APGA with 10 votes, YPP scored five votes while PDP scored two votes.
The candidate of the PDP, who voted at polling unit 010 Social Center, Ward 005, of the Aguata Local Government, Area scored 75 votes, followed by APGA with eight votes while the APC scored two.
The candidate of APGA, who voted at Isuofia Ward 13, Unit 002 in the Aguata LGA, scored 126 votes while PDP scored five and both APC and YPP scored three votes each.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it has largely resolved the earlier challenges on the malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) across many Polling Units (PUs) for Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra State.
Addressing newsmen yesterday night at the INEC State Headquarters Awka, the state capital the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Anambra State, Dr. Nkwachukwu Orji, said that collation of results of the election would commence on Sunday morning at the collation centre, INEC State Headquarters Awka, the state capital.
Recall TheNewsGuru (TNG) had earlier reported that the commission had extended the accreditation and voting periods of the election from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm local time over the BVAS challenge.
Orji said in his earlier briefings that this was due to the widespread malfunctioning of the BVAS across many Polling Units (PUs) in the state.
However, during the Saturday night briefing the Anambra REC, Dr. Orji, said the election has progressed generally well despite the initial challenges.
He expressed delight that an appreciable number of citizens of Anambra State turned out to exercise their civic duty of choosing their next governor, notwithstanding initial security concerns.
According to him, “I am happy to report that the technical glitches we experienced with our new BVAS were largely solved. We thank the voters and candidates for patiently waiting for the problem with the devices to be resolved.
“To be sure, these may not have been resolved perfectly everywhere, but the reports we got from our field officers and independent observers convince us that most voters were able to vote with the BVAS, following the extension of the voting period to 4.00 pm and our regulation that any voter on the queue at that time must be allowed to vote.
“As I said in my earlier briefing, any PU where there was a consistent malfunction of the BVAS, and therefore the voters in the Unit were unable to vote, the election will be continued tomorrow.”
Orji, however, said the commission was yet to receive reports of any location where the sustained malfunction of the BVAS led to no election at all.
“Still, we shall continue to receive reports through our usual channels, particularly from the collation of the Form EC40G, which is the official document for recording PUs where elections did not hold or were canceled.”
He also said the election is by no means over. As it has now entered a critical stage of the process, being the collation of results.
He said INEC has made adequate arrangements for collation of the results at the Registration Areas, Local Government Areas, and the state level.
He said, “Results from PUs are already being uploaded to our INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal; the RA and LGA collation have been progressing well. I implore all stakeholders to be patient while this painstaking process progresses.
“I am glad to announce that the state collation will commence tomorrow at the state collation centre here in our state office at 10 am tomorrow morning.” Citing poor functioning of the Bimodal Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier yesterday extended voting in the Anambra State governorship election till today.
The extension, according to the nation’s electoral body, was to allow voters who were unable to vote due to malfunctioning of the BVAS to do so.
BVAS is INEC’s new introduction to help eliminate voter’s impersonation for the election.
But addressing journalists in Awka yesterday, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Nkwachukwu Orji, said the extension of voting became necessary to enable more if not all, eligible voters to cast their votes in the areas affected by the malfunctioning of the system.
Orji said the commission is determined to make all votes count, adding that the BVAS malfunctioned because of software glitches.
He also said that the commission was already working to rectify the problem and address complaints of poor functioning of BVAS machines.
He stated: “In line with existing regulations and guidelines of the commission, any intending voter who is on the queue by 4 pm shall be allowed to vote.
“The extension of time arose out of several field reports that voters have had problems with accreditation.”
Orji further said the commission is currently investigating the reason the accreditation devices BVAS have worked perfectly in some Polling Units, but not in others.
He continued: “In cases of malfunction of the BVAS, the Presiding Officer must inform the voters and polling agents that accreditation and voting shall continue tomorrow or at another time determined by the Commission.”
He also noted that deployment was adversely affected by transportation challenges in some locations.
Orji said, “It must be noted that on account of security concerns, some of the transporters that were mobilised and collected 50 per cent of their sign on fee backed out at the last moment, leaving some of our ad-hoc staff stranded.
“Also, some of the trained ad-hoc staff backed out at the last moment. The Commission is on top of these challenges and extant regulations and guidelines will be applied.”
The INEC official appealed to all voters, candidates, stakeholders and political parties to remain calm and law abiding.