The presidential and National Assembly elections in Abia took off on an impressive note with a large turnout of voters at the polling centres.
The News Agency Nigeria (NAN) correspondents who monitored the exercise, report that accreditation started about one hour behind schedule, owing to the late arrival of electoral officials and materials.
Although the accreditation process was orderly, it took an average of five minutes to accredit a voter with the Card Reader machines (CRs).
There were also isolated cases of faulty CRs in some polling units.
At the Umuwaya Road Primary School, Urban Ward 2, the CR deployed in Unit 002, which could not function, was immediately replaced with another one through the quick intervention of the polling officer in charge.
Meanwhile, Gov. Theodore Orji, who was accredited at Ugba Community Primary School, Urban Ward 1, expressed satisfaction with the turnout of eligible voters.
Orji, however, expressed concern over the delay in the accreditation process, saying that INEC should extend the closing time for accreditation to make up for the lost time.
He further advised that eligible voters, identified to have registered at a particular polling unit but who could not be accredited due to faulty CRs, ought to be allowed to vote.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in the state, Dr. Alex Otti, who was accredited at Ahiafor Umuru Village Hall in Isialangwa South Local Government Area, also expressed satisfaction with voter turnout.
Otti, however, said that his concern was the ‘’high rejection rate by the CRs’’ and reported cases of faulty CRs at some polling centres as well as the delay in the accreditation process.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Abia, Mr Habila Joshak, who led the heads of security agencies in the state to monitor the exercise in the state, said that the security operatives were on top of the situation.
Joshak said that armed men were positioned strategically to provide adequate security for voters, electoral officials and election observers, adding that they were also poised to provide quick response to any emergency situation.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. Selina Oko, told the governor, who came to her office to lodge the complaint about cases of faulty CRs, that frantic efforts were being made to replace them. (NAN)