By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – Nigerians yesterday, 16 April 2011, voted in the presidential election to elect a credible leader who will lead them in the next four years.
Collation of results in yesterdays presidential election are still being received in Abuja in line with the directive of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC that all results in the presidential poll be forwarded to the INEC Headquarters where the Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega will be the returning officer.
The collation officers from various states of the federation where collation of results have been concluded are in Abuja, the nation’s capital for verification of results and subsequent announcement by the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega who is the returning officer for the presidential poll.
So far the incumbent president, President Goodluck Jonathan has won in five states. They include, Kogi, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory, Ogun state and Ondo.
However, in some states in the country where collation of election results has not been concluded, the collation officers are still being awaited.
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, about twenty political parties contested the poll, though not all of them fielded presidential candidates.
Reports from correspondents across the country indicate that the election was generally peaceful except for a few hitches recorded in some parts of the country like the south-eastern states and some states in the Northern part of the country where there were reported cases of some people snatching ballot boxes and bomb scare in Maidugiri, the Borno state capital.
There was also an impressive turn out of eligible voters to vote candidates of their choice. In some areas it was reported that youths of voting age turned out in large number as they all desire a paradigm shift.
Women including the elderly were not left out as they all truly needed change.
One impressing thing that happened was that voters in the country this time, voted along the line of credible personalities and not political parties as was the case in Nigeria. Nigerians suddenly realized the need to vote along the line of credible personalities involved and no longer political parties.
There was high security presence in and around INEC offices, strategic and volatile areas nationwide. Bomb experts were also on ground to forestall any possible explosion and ensure peaceful conduct of the presidential poll.
According to reports from most parts of the country, many polling units had at least two or more security operatives.
The Police command in Maidugiri the Borno state capital in northern Nigeria, said it has arrested four persons over an explosion at Galadima junction in the state at eight O’clock in the morning yesterday as the presidential election was underway.
In many parts of the country also, there were cases of missing names from the voter register and people were not happy that they were disenfranchised.
In some polling units also, there were situations where the INEC officials had only four hundred ballot papers whereas there were over a thousand eligible voters eager to vote candidates of their choice but could vote because there were insufficient ballot papers to enable them to vote.
However, there was no election in some states of the federation like Adamawa in the northern part of the country, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers in the south- south, Kogi in the middle belt and Sokoto in the far north.
In some cases some electorate who earlier came for accreditation but could not stay to vote, were also not allowed to vote because they returned to the polling units when voting had been concluded.