Saturday, April 17, 2021 1:19 pm
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The ongoing Rivers local government election has been characterized by a mixed grill of delay in arrival of electoral materials, polling officers poor turnout of voters and some elements of violence.
TheNEWS correspondent monitoring the election gathered that there was a report of sporadic shootings in Ward 8 Bomu town, in Gokana Local government Counci of the State.
The immediate cause of the shootings could not be confirmed by our correspondent as at the time of filing in this report. It could also not be confirmed if there was any casualty.
Voting had not started in Obio-Akpor local government area as at 9.30am while it was noted that may potential voters were not keen to participate in the exercise.
The situation was the same at other polling units visited in the area.
At Unit 7 Ward 4 in Rumuodomaya, Unit 3, 4 and 5 and Electoral materials arrived at about 9.30 am.
However, the restriction on human and vehicular movement was obeyed.
For instance, shops and markets in Obio-Akpor local government area were under lock
However, voting materials are yet to arrive in ward 7, Unit 16 in Rumuagholu all in Obio-Akpor local government area as at 10 am
Also, as at 10 am, distribution of sensitive materials was still ongoing at Ward 1 Collation Centre in, Abonnema, Akuku Toru Local Government Area.
By implication, there will be a late start of accreditation and voting process across the polling units in the local government area.
Meanwhile, our correspondent reports that traders and restaurant operators in the area are open and going about their businesses.
At 10.05 am in Bolo Ward 4, Unit 2 and 10, in Ogu-bolo local government area, there were no electoral materials and officials in sight.
Accreditation and voting has commenced in polling units in Abonnema, but there are complaints of shortage of ballot papers in units 4 and 5, ward 10.
The electoral officials at unit 5 said they have been forced to conclude accreditation and voting as they were handed only 100 ballot papers, while the unit has 814 registered voters.
Some voters are complaining that they have disenfranchised as a result of the shortage of the electoral materials.
More updates later.