Except for few cases of card readers malfunctioning in some certain polling units; governorship election in Edo State has been described by some observers as being peaceful.
A Member of House of Representatives, Esan West, Esan Central, and Igueben, Hon. Joe Edionwere (PDP), who spoke to the press shortly after casting his vote, affirmed that the exercise was peaceful except for the isolated cases of card reader failure.
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. D.I. Adodo, confirmed the peaceful conduct of the election in the area and expressed optimism that his party would win in Iruekpen and indeed the state.
Meanwhile, accreditation and voting commenced as early as 8.am in Edo Central commenced and some others polling units. In Iruekpen Esan West where The New Diplomat visited, accreditation and voting commenced at exactly 8.am simultaneously in Ogbomodu Primary School which accommodates Ward 6, Unit 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
At Ujemen Primary school, Ward 5 Unit 8, Esan West, there was a fracas between some youths and an officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps who was accused of tacitly controlling voters to cast their votes for PDP. However, a timely intervention of some senior police officers saved the situation from deteriorating to a crisis.
In ward 8, the card reader experienced some minor failure as it failed to identify some voters and the INEC officials had to resort to the use of incident forms. There was a large turn-out of voters across the district.
However, Sen. Clifford Odia, representing Edo Central (PDP) complained of security concern, alleging that one Chief Inegbeneki in ward 9, unit 8, Opoji Irrua was terrorizing voters in that ward with some “fake military”, men and thus preventing some people from casting their votes at St. Michael Primary school in Irrua ward 6 unit1.
As at 3.30pm, voting and counting had concluded and PDP won in all the four units visited by The New Diplomat in that area.
Responding to questions from newsmen, the PDP deputy governor candidate, Mr. John Yakubu, alleged that although PDP had won in the area, there were incidents of votes buying by some APC members but he did not pinpoint anyone in particular. According to him, he reported the matter to the senior police officer in charge of the polling units.