Nineteen candidates are reportedly vying for the ticket to the Government House. But the main contest is seen to be between Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress, the ruling party in the state, and Andrew Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Premium Times reported that there’s only one female governorship candidate, Tracy Agol, the 44-year-old Peoples’ Party of Nigeria aspirant.
Seven political parties have women as their deputy governorship candidates.
Edo State has a total of 1,925,105 registered voters; 192 Registration Areas (RAs); 2,627 Polling Units (Pus); and 4,011 Voting Points (VPs).
A total of 25,000 police officers were deployed across the state to ensure peace and security during the polls, while 44 observer groups were accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission as election monitors.
Voting material have arrived at Polling Unit 005 in Benin.
An INEC adhoc staff explains the voting process to prospective voters at a primary school in Benin.
“Voting starts by 8 am and stops at 2pm. Those who are in the queue when it’s 2pm will be allowed to cast their votes.”
At PU 001 in Asoro Primary School, Benin, a party agent attempted to tell people to vote for her party.
Eghosa Arase, a voter, said everything was fine until the agent began canvassing for her party.
“The election is going peacefully, but some certain things is happening, some other members of some party, they are trying to cause crisis though we’ve tried to bring everything down.
“When you want to canvass, you have to canvass at home before you come here.”
PREMIUM TIMES found out that one of the major parties was giving out N2,000 to have people vote for its candidate.
80-year-old Alice Akpaha arrived at the polling unit with her temporary voters card and was told she couldn’t vote.
“They’ll give you the one you can use in 2019,” a party agent told her.
Voting has commenced at PU 021, Emokpae Primary School, Benin.
Godwin Obaseki, the APC candidate, arrives at his polling unit to cast his vote and shouts of ‘next governor, next governor’ rents the air.
Mr. Obaseki joins the queue to vote.
Mr. Obaseki, speaking in Pidgin English, said he is impressed with the voter turnout at his polling unit.
“Na my papa area where dem born me. So a lot of my family dey around here and everybody dey happy say governorship candidate come from their own area,” he said.
Mr. Obaseki is queued behind his wife. There are still 26 people before them.
“The queue for my unit is still very long, it will take some time but I no mind at all. Everything dey very calm, peaceful, no trouble at all.”
Peter Nwadichi, an election monitor and the Coordinator, Network on Good Governance, told PREMIUM TIMES that “The process has been peaceful in the sense that materials came on time. As we speak people are being accredited, voting is taking place simultaneously.”
“For now, INEC has gotten it right. The card readers have not malfunctioned, they are working perfectly for now. We have not seen anybody that complained that the card reader is giving them problem, so let us just assume that the card reader process is going on smoothly.”
PDP candidate, Andrew Ize-Iyamu, yet to vote at his Iguododo village.
He took out time to move around his community greeting elders and community leaders.
Voting commenced in the area AT about 8.30 a.m. and everywhere is calm and peaceful.
While doing this, cameras were not allowed to take pictures.
Mr. Obaseki voted at exactly 10.30 a.m., one hour after joining the queue.