A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Lagos - Voters turned out early for accreditation in many parts of Lagos on Saturday but in many areas, had to wait for the arrival of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials beyond 8.00a.m.
The media reports that accreditation of voters was scheduled to start by 8.00a.m. and continue till 1p.m.
As at 9:00 am, distribution of election materials to various polling units was still ongoing at a ward collation centre at the State Junior High School, Oyewole, in Agege Local Government Area, Lagos.
The media reports that the ward has 32 voting centres.
INEC official in-charge of the collation centre, Kunle Ogunleye, told the media that the delay was due to an electrical spark in the hall at about 5:30a.m.
‘’Although, the electrical surge did not burn any of the materials because we were able to put it off, it, however, delayed the distribution of materials to the voting centres,’’ Ogunleye said.
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Also as at 8:30 am, distribution of election materials to polling units and voting centres was still ongoing at the Government Senior College, Agege, Ward 11 collation centre in Agege Local Govt Area.
The media reports that the ward has 32 polling units and 15 voting centres.
At Polling Units 024 and 080, Aboru, in Alimosho Local Government Area, turnout of voters in the two units as at 7:05am was impressive.
Two police officers were seen manning each of polling units to maintain law and order.
However, INEC officials and election materials were yet to arrive at both units as at 8:57am while accreditation of voters was yet to begin.
A cleric, Pastor Olu Adeyemi, told the media that he was disappointed at the delay in arrival of election materials.
The media reports that there was impressive turnout of voters for accreditation at Polling unit 002,at State Grammar School, Surulere.
The media reports that the polling unit is where Gov. Babatunde Fashola was registered for the elections.
As early as 8.15 a.m., voters had formed a long queue at the polling unit for accreditation.
Officials of the INEC commenced proper accreditation of voters at around 8.30am as they were seen subjecting Permanent Voters Cards to card readers.
Security was light at the polling unit as only a few security personnel were seen manning the unit.
By 8.50am the number of voters turning up for accreditation had grown to no fewer than 150 even as more eligible voters trickled into the polling unit.
One of the voters, Abdul-Majid Bako, expressed satisfaction with the process and commended INEC for a job well done.
"I came here around 8.30a.m., and shortly after that I did my accreditation."
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"The card reader successfully read my card and I did not hear any complaints from any of the other people who have come for accreditation."
"The way I am seeing things, it is obvious that the process is better than the 2011 exercise."
"There has been a lot of improvement as everything INEC told us is what is happening."
"I hope the situation is like that in other polling units across the country and I hope we have a successful election," he said.
At polling unit 009, Ward 09, Lagos Mainland Local Government, accreditation started at 8:00am and was smooth and orderly.
Speaking to the media, Sani Gada, a civil servant, said: ‘If things like this happen in our country, it is an improvement on our electoral system.
"There is no challenge or difficulty at all in the accreditation, Ilike the orderly manner with which everything is going."
Ayorinde Bamidele, student at the same unit expressed satisfaction over the smooth running of the accreditation.
‘’Everything is in order, I got through within five minutes, the use of smart card reader is a welcome development,’’ Bamidele said.
The media reports that security officers were on ground to maintain law and order.
In Ward 001 in Anifowoshe area of Ikeja where INEC officials arrived as early as 7.30a.m. and also on ward 010 (Abeokuta street) in the same area, voters were spotted lining up for accreditation which kicked off at about 8.ooa.m as stipulated by INEC.
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At the Adeniyi Jones area of the State Capital, INEC officials and pockets of voters were seen in ward 004 at the Adeniyi Jones Primary School while in ward 002 (Ipodo) there were more voters already waiting to be accredited.
In several polling units visited in Festac Town in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, voters waited for the arrival of INEC officials until 9.00a.m, when they began to arrive.
The media also reports that there was late arrival of electoral officials and materials at some Polling Units in Ogudu, in Kosofe Local Government Area.
At a polling unit located at Ramat Crescent, Ogudu GRA, voters were seen standing in groups discussing while waiting for the arrival of the election materials and officials.
Also, as at 9.13 a.m., the polling unit located at Kolawole Street, Ogudu was empty as there were no electoral officials on ground.
At another polling unit located at Alhaja Street, Ogudu, electoral officials were seen arriving as at 8.46 a.m. with the election materials.
The media reports that INEC officials arrived at the Unit 058 Surulere by 9.18 a.m with the election materials, while the voters were already waiting for them.
At Unit 008 Polling Centre, Baiye Street, Surulere, as at 9.00 a.m. no INEC official was seen at the unit, while only security officials were seen.
At Ward 004 in front of Iponri Police Station, Lagos, accreditation of voters started early at 8.06 a.m.
A 65-year-old voter, Innocent Enyinna, told the media that he had prayed for God’s intervention for the success of the election.
Enyinna said he believed that the best presidential candidate would emerge.
Also, reports from Epe indicated that electorate were still waiting for INEC officials in some polling booths for the election as officials were yet to arrive as at 8.20 a.m.
NAN reports that in Ward 02 Units 7, 8, 10, 12 and 17, Ward A5 Units 07, 08, 10, 21, 22 and 24 had no sign of INEC officials at 8.20a.m.
Some units like Ward A5, Units 01, 04 and Ward A3, units 03, 09 and12 witnessed the arrival of some INEC officials and materials few minutes to 9.00 a.m.
As at 8.30am, some youths were seen playing football on some roads in Surulere area especially around Masha Road, Onile-gogoro Bus Stop and Cole Street.
At Ikotun in Alimosho Local Government area, men of the Nigerian Red Cross were also on ground to give first aid in case of an accident.
Mr Celestine Eze, Head of the team, told NAN that the first aid materials were brought to the area at 7.30 a.m.
NAN correspondents report that as early as 6.00 a.m., most roads in Lagos were without vehicular movements in compliance with the restriction order.
Also, there was presence of security operatives including soldiers, policemen, men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on the major road.