Action Congress of Nigeria on Saturday morning issued a statement complaining of the late arrival of voting materials and insecurity in some parts of Ondo State, as the governorship election got under way.
ACN spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in the statement, “Though election materials have been distributed to many polling units across the states, they are yet to get to several polling units, more than one hour after the election ought to have commenced.
“Specifically, materials have not been brought to Ese Odo LG Ward 1 Unit 11, as well as Akure South Ward 8 Wofere Unit. Also at both Units, INEC officials have not been sighted. At the Ese Odo LG, Apoi 4, Unit 1, duplicate EC8A was presented.”
In the statement, the party also raised the alarm over acts of thuggery and irregularities. It said, “Inadequate security has been reported in many localities in Ondo State, with the worst-hit areas being Idanre and Okitipupa. In Idanre, for example, thugs on motorcycles are harassing voters and agents of the opposition.
“There are also reports of stuffed ballot boxes being moved to polling booths with the protection of Labour Party thugs. In Owo, a state government commissioner has been arrested by soldiers after he was found with weapons.
“The widespread insecurity has led to apprehension by voters, and there is the need for security agencies to urgently deploy additional security to the affected areas.
“Many agents of the Action Congress of Nigeria whose names were forwarded to INEC were not given accreditation tags in several polling units across the state, raising fears that ACN agents may not be able to monitor the election. INEC must immediately remedy the situation.”
The state government has already denied the alleged arrest of its Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Niran Sule, whom, the ACN statement may have referred to. Meanwhile, field reports indicate that voters are complaining that materials were yet to reach some communities in Arogboland as at 10.30a.m.
The State Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Shuaib Yisa, had to volunteer his vehicle to convey stranded officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and their materials from Cathedral area of the state capital, Akure, to various polling units in Akure South Local Government Area.
However, INEC has given the assurance that the complaints on late arrival of materials had been addressed.
Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said on Facebook, “All issues as regards late arrival of election materials and officials in some wards across the states especially in Sijuwade, Oke Aro andBolajoko have been dealt with accordingly.”