Results so far released from more than 20 polling units of different wards for the Anambra State governorship election have placed the incumbent Governor, Chief Willie Obiano in an early lead with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the 34 other contending political parties trailing.
Voting in Saturday’s keenly contested election started as early as 8am in most polling units across the state with large turnout.
Except for a minor incident recorded at Nsugbe, the home town of the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Tony Nwoye, where a local government chairman was said to have disrupted voting and was arrested by the Police, the exercise was generally peaceful and orderly.
There was heavy voter turnout in poling centres located in the rural areas and low turnout in the urban centres, apparently because most people travelled to the hinterland to cast their votes.
Despite the call by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) for people to boycott the election, there was an impressive turnout with the voters going to their various polling booths without any fear or intimidation as the security operatives at the centres and those conducting stop-and-search behaved in a civilised manner.
Obiano voted at about 9.27am, Nwoye voted at about 1pm and PDP’s Oseloka Obaze cast his ballot few minutes to 2pm.
Addressing reporters after voting, Obiano hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for ensuring a smooth election devoid of crisis.
He said that although the card reader could not recognise his finger prints but he was able to vote manually.
Obaze, who spoke to journalists after casting his vote, said that although there were reports of apathy in many places, INEC should be commended for conducting a peaceful exercise.
The results at the polling units visited by News Express were compiled, announced before the voters and observers, and subsequently pasted on the walls of the polling centres.
Collation of final results from the 21 Local Government Area is already underway and would be delivered at the state headquarters of INEC in Awka where the winner would be announced by the governorship returning officer.
Most people waited patiently after voting until the votes were counted and in many places.
APGA took the political scene like a storm as most of the areas it polled high votes were known stronghold of chieftains of other political parties.
For instance, APGA won convincingly in many wards in Nnewi, the home town of the deputy governorship candidate of PDP, Mrs. Chidi Onyemelukwe, and at the home town of former Governor Peter Obi at Agulu Nri, which is the home town of Mrs. Uche Ekwunife of APC.
Addressing journalists in his country home, Amawbia, the national chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Ike Oye commended the INEC National Chairman of Independent Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu for ensuring that the election was free and fair, saying that anything short of the result that had trickled in would only introduce anarchy in the state.