Edo governorship election records high turnout

Samuel Okocha, Benin

Edo State governorship election has recorded high turnout of voters amidst heavy security presence on the streets of the southern Nigerian state.

Voting began peacefully across Edo State in an election to elect a new governor.

Accreditation and voting began officially at 8 in the morning. But some voters and election officials arrived at the polling booths as early as 6 AM.

In the Edo State capital, Benin, voters like 74 years old James Oyebode applauded the peaceful vote.

Oyebode said: “It’s the best so far because formerly they say we should do accreditation and go home. That’s inconveniences. This time, Under 10 minutes I had voted and headed back to my office. The process is a very good one.”

Election observers also say the voting process has been peaceful. According to Peter Nwadushe of theNetwork on Good Governance the election process has been satisfactory.

In his words:I think its peaceful and well coordinated. The INEC officials were here before 8. And security personnel are making sure there is peace in the election ground. The atmosphere has been conducive for voters to come out and vote peacefully.”

Nineteen candidates are vying to become the next governor after 8 years of the incumbent. But the main contest is seen to be between Godwin Obaseki of the ruling All Progressives Congress, and Andrew Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The voting has been scheduled to end at 2pm. But voters on queues are expected to vote before collation of results.

The poll earlier slated for September 10th was rescheduled to September 28th after security agencies warned of imminent security threat.