Nigerians today return to the polls to elect their state governors and legislators as well councilors for the six Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Councils.

The House of Assembly election in Onitsha and its environs has been characterised by voter apathy and vote buying in most of the polling units in the area.

It was observed that agents of some political parties were standing by the roadside and gates of polling units to lure voters with N1,000 and N2,000 respectively to vote for their candidates.

It was observed that one of the candidates in the election as early as 9.30am was moving from one polling unit to another sharing money, foods and drinks to the voters to enable them vote for him.

It was gathered that some hoodlums stormed post office polling units to attack APC and APGA agents and made away with the money that was allegedly given to them to be shared to the voters.

Some of the INEC officers at Polling Units 004 ward 14 Post Office and Polling Unit 005, Ward 14 Ezenwa/Francis Abel Udu and Rosemary Obi, lamented the turnout of the voters compared to what obtainable in last election.

They said they were ready for the voting at about 8.05 am but it took the voters up till 9am before that started coming out from their homes to vote, saying that smart card reader did not give them any problem as voters were accredited faster than the previous election.

Some ad hoc INEC staff, Louisa Ilochi and Cornelia Chinedu, complained of non-payment of their allowance since the last election, saying that they wanted to boycott House of Assembly election after they were not paid for the presidential/National Assembly elections but they were promised that they were going to be paid in the field today but that had not happened.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has condemned the rate of voting buying in the Assembly election, alleging that some state government officials were caught sharing money at the polling units in most places in the state.

The State Publicity Secretary of APC in the state Mr. Okelo Madukaife, in a statement said that there was shortage of election materials in some places in the state especially in the areas their candidates had the upper hand.

He said: “It is demeaning for Anambra State that Obiano’s aide is sharing cash to buy votes and to remove his shirt to fight when challenged.

“Our party has kept close watch on Polling Unit 001 & 002 in Council Hall, Oraukwu, where this event peaked and has placed it on record. We urge our supporters not to be intimidated, but to vote en masse and protect their votes.

“We thank the DPO of Eziowele Police Station for his prompt intervention to avert what could have been a bloody clash arising from a highly-placed law breaker struggling to retain his office by stealing power.

“We tell voters that any money being shared at polling units is public money to which they have as much rights as the bearer. We shall in due course, request an explanation from Chukwudebelu on what that volume of cash is doing in circulation.

“Our party protested the short- supply of ballot papers to Adazi Ani, Anaocha LGA, particularly in PU 001 and 002 (Orjiako Secondary School) at the instance of an opponent candidate. Adazi Ani is the hometown of our House of Assembly candidate in Anaocha 1 State Constituency,” Madukaife stated.

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