Despite multiple reports of violence in Akwa Ibom State during Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party insists the poll was overall peaceful.
Speaking after casting his vote, Udom Emmanuel of the PDP expressed delight with the turnout of voters, describing it as unprecedented.
Mr. Emmanuel, who voted at his hometown in Awa, Onna local government area of the state, said though “pockets of skirmishes” were reported in a few areas, security agencies were able to rise to the occasion, resulting in the success of the exercise in the state.
“Generally the election is peaceful, Akwa Ibom people have conducted themselves well, we are happy with what we are seeing and we believe that it is a sign of maturity,’’ he said.
He said with the excitement seen on the faces of the voters, he was greatly encouraged about the prospects of democracy in the country.
Mr. Emmanuel also commended INEC for ensuring a peaceful poll.
There were several reports of violence in Akwa Ibom Saturday.
Photos obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed at least one person killed in an attacks near a voting centre. Others were injured.
Another photo showed voters scampering to safety after thugs took over their polling unit, seizing voting materials.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, called for the cancellation of the elections, citing irregularities.
Despite the hitches, voting went ahead successfully in other areas, residents said.
Unyime Usoro, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Akwa Ibom State said his unit received materials early.
“This election has witnessed a remarkable improvement as the INEC officials arrived in time and this made it easy for the accreditation to commence in time and it is also easy to control the crowd,’’ he said.