By Daniel Edu
The Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) faced significant setbacks during the ongoing local government elections in the state, primarily due to the late arrival of materials at various polling units.
Eyewitness accounts revealed that eager voters had formed queues as early as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, prepared to cast their votes. However, in most units, the voting process did not commence until around noon, well behind the scheduled 8:30 a.m. start time. This delay affected several polling units across Edo State, including Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, and Egor local government areas (LGAs).
Voting did commence at Unit 7, Ward 4 in Egor LGA around 10:30 a.m., while materials arrived at some units in the Benin metropolis shortly before 10:00 a.m.
Reports indicated that, as of noon, non-sensitive electoral materials were still being sorted and transported from Ward 2 Oredo LGA Collation Centre to units in the riverine areas.
Despite heavy rainfall, some political party agents had arrived at the polling units as early as 8 a.m. only to find the absence of electoral materials and electoral officers.
At Olua Primary School in Uselu, units 1 to 7, Ward 7 of Oredo LGA, EDSIEC officials finally arrived with electoral materials by 9:37 a.m.
In Oredo LGA, materials were yet to reach their designated units by 10:15 a.m., while voters were already waiting at units 1 to 3, Ward 12 in front of Oba Market, close to the Oredo LGA secretariat.
Similarly, at units 11 and 31 in Ward 1 of Oredo LGA, materials were still anticipated at 10:30 a.m.
On the contrary, in Auchi, Etsako West LGA, materials arrived early at most polling units. However, there was a low turnout of voters in the area. Despite the presence of security personnel, only a few voters were observed at polling units.
In Ward 11, Units 2, 8, and 9 in Jattu, Auchi, as well as Ward 4, Units 5 and 6, and Fugar, Ward 7, Units 7, 8, 9, and Obe Primary School, turnout remained notably low as few people came out to cast their votes.