There was crisis during the presidential and National Assembly elections in Delta State on Saturday.
At Sapele ward 9, unit 24 in Delta State, there was a fracas following a clash between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), which forced voters to scamper for safety.
Meanwhile, in many parts of Delta State, late arrival and missing election materials affected the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections in the tate.
SaharaReporters correspondent, who monitored the elections across the state, observed that as at 10am, elections had not commenced in some parts of the state election materials arrived late in some cases, while in others, they were missing.
At Asaba, the Delta State capital, as at 9:30am, materials were still being sorted out at Uzoigwe and Ahaba Primary Schools with huge turnout of voters waiting patiently to exercise their franchise.
At Ward 9, Oshimili South Local Government Area, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were seen still sorting out materials for distribution to units as at press time even as voters noted that materials arrived the ward at about 4:00am but the INEC officials failed to immediately commence sorting and distribution.
Speaking with our correspondent, Stella Marris Ogbemuo and Ifeoma Nekua, supervising officers at the ward, assured voters that the exercise would go on smoothly.
At the Asaba Primary School, ward 04, materials were being moved to units under the ward when our correspondent visited, while ad hoc staff of INEC, mainly youth corps members were seen setting up their respective cubicles in preparation for the voting.
Peter Onwusanya, former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, alleged that soldiers were turning voters using their personal cars back home.
Casting his vote in company of his wife, at Ward 2, Unit 5 in Oni Primary School, Owa-Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area, Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, lamented the slow process, especially the hitches relating to the card readers.
At Osubi ward 3 unit 9, Okpe LGA, while casting his vote, Sheriff Oborevwori, speaker of the state House of Assembly, expressed disappointment that the card readers failed.
"You saw that it took almost an hour for me to vote, because the card reader had some issues. I don't know of other areas, but you all experienced what happened. We are hoping that it will improve, because they have sent for their technical department. My advice to the electorate is that they should be very patient, because the process is very slow. As a democrat, I want to ensure that the process is free and fair. We are expecting victory for PDP, because here is more of PDP,” he said.
At the time of this report, voting materials has not arrived polling units in Ozoro, headquarters of Isoko North LGA.
At Warri North LGA, Emmanuel Uduaghan, immediate past Governor of the state, and All Progressives Congress (APC) Delta South senatorial candidate, told our correspondent that election materials arrived his unit at Abigborodo not too long ago.
At Oleh, headquarters of Isoko South LGA, agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were alleged to be sharing hijacked voters cards to underage voters and those without voters card to go for voting in designated polling units.
Casting his vote at ward 1, unit 8, Abraka, Ethiope East LGA, Great Ogboru, the DeltaAll Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, said the process is peaceful, while adding that though there were some technical issues, they had been resolved.
"I expect that we shall win, and I hope that the process will be peaceful in other places. We have heard of people still attempting to snatch ballot boxes; some successfully, others unsuccessfully. I hope that at the end of the day this would stop and we will be able to elect someone as a President, Senate and House of Representatives members,” Ogboru said.
At Evrweni, ward 8, O'tega Emerhor, the former APC governorship candidate and leader of the party in the state, expressed satisfaction with the process.
Speaking with newsmen, Cyril Omorogbe, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, explained the delay in the commencement of the voting exercise in Asaba, the state capital, adding that the original results sheets arrived the state office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at about 12 midnight, and had to be moved to the various areas at dawn.
On allegation of soldiers turning back voters, Omorogbe promised to contact the security agencies to allow people with PVCs to access their voting points, saying voters who are in their voting centres by 2pm will be allowed to vote.