The Anambra State governorship election on Saturday witnessed impressive turnout of voters at most of the polling units.
Also, the election witnessed tight security as heavily armed security operatives manned the different units and council areas where the election was conducted.
The impressive turnout was witnessed in the three senatorial zones of the state.
As early as 7.30 a.m. voters were present at the different polling units waiting for the exercise to commence.
Testifying to the large turnout of voters, Willie Obiano, the governor of the state who is also the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, said at Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area, his country home, that he was happy with the turnout of voters.
He said coming out to vote was the only way the people could support the advancement of democracy.
The same opinion was expressed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Tony Nwoye.
In Oyi, Orumba North and South, Awka South local government areas as well as Onitsha, the turnout was high in the polling units visited.
However, the turnout in parts of Orumba North and South was poor because of late arrival of materials and officials of INEC.
At Aroma Junction, Agu Oka Polling Unit 004 in Awka South Local Government Area, Mr. David Anyamele, a Local Election Observer, described the exercise as peaceful and smooth.
Anyamele, a member of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, said he was impressed by the turnout of voters in most of the polling units he visited.
But at Fagge Area of Onitsha, the turnout was not very impressive.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nneamaka Achebe, said the unimpressive turnout in Onitsha was because majority of people working and doing business in Onitsha were not residents of the area.
“Most of them live in Nkpor, Obosi, and Idemili areas, but only come to Onitsha to work and do business.
“The Obi in Council had earlier met and directed the town criers to go round the various communities and announce to the people to participate in the election,’’ Achebe said.
He described the conduct of the governorship election as smooth, peaceful and fair.
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Meanwhile, it is on record that the election was held under tight security.
In the 4,608 polling units in the 21 council areas heavily armed security operatives were seen in all the units and council areas visited.
The security operatives refused people not participating in the election access on Onitsha-Enugu Expressway as well as Oye-Agu/Abagana Junction linking communities on the Onitsha Road.
At popular Borrowmew Roundabout in Onitsha, there was heavy presence of army, police and NSCDC operatives who refused every unaccredited vehicle passage.
A team of security personnel comprising soldiers, policemen, NSCDC officials, Immigration officials and others blocked the River Niger Head Bridge, Onitsha, in line with the no entry directive announced before the election.
One of the military personnel who spoke under anonymity said that only accredited vehicles were allowed to pass through the road block.
In Ifte-Awka, Okpuno, Amawbia, Nibo and Umudioka, all in Awka South Local Government, security personnel were seen at all the major junctions and polling units.
At Aroma Junction in Awka, Mr Joshua Ejimbi, the official of the Independent National Electoral Commission, said that he was happy with the level of security at the centre.
Mr. David Anyamele, a local observer from the Centre for Citizens with Disability, also corroborated the position of Ejimbi on security and applauded various security organisations for massive deployment of their personnel for the election.
Mr. Nduka Ilechukwu, a voter, said the presence of security personnel at his St Martin Ihiala polling unit encouraged many people to take part in the exercise.
Ilechukwu said there was apprehension before the election that the election might be disrupted but the number of police and other security men present in all the polling units had restored the confidence of the masses.
In Ekwulobia, Nene, Nri, Ozubulu, Aguleria, Umuleri, and Nnewi areas, heavily armed security personnel were seen in all the polling units visited while major junctions were also seen manning the entry and exist points.
In Aguata, Orumba North and South areas, security personnel were seen searching bags of voters especially females who came to polling units with hand bags.
In Oyi and Njikoka council areas, the security was water-tight.
The police deployed 26,000 while Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission deployed 14,000 and 2,000 operatives, respectively.
37 parties are fielding candidates in Anambra for the governorship post.