[From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, Calabar]
Voting commenced early in most of the venues at the Ogoja Yala Federal Constituency and enthusiastic voters congregated in large numbers at most of the venues.
At the St. Michaels Primary School, Ibil – Nkum in Ogoja local government area, Senator representing Cross River North in the national assembly cast his vote.
The polling unit with number PU 005 has 791 registered voters and is presided over by Adebola Adeyinka.
Speaking after casting his vote, Senator Jarigbe said there will be no room for rigging with what he has seen and politicians have to work hard to earn the votes of the electorate.
In his words, “There will be no room for rigging because of what I am seeing here and if it continues strictly there will be no bypass anywhere.
“Politicians will have to work very hard to earn what they get from the electorate.
“It is not an issue of coming to face the electorates when you have not delivered on the mandate given to you”.
He added that we have done well as a nation and expects things to get better as far as the electoral process is concerned.
At Mbube, there was massive voter turn-out at Mbumbe west, Ward II ,007 with 820 registers voters on the list.
Voting started at exactly 8: 48a.m at the polling Station located at Christ The King Primary School Odajie-Mbube, Ogoja LGA, Cross River state.
Speaking with some of the voters who have already cast their votes, they said they are optimistic that the exercise will be a smooth one adding that they believe that their votes will count especially as the President signed the electoral act into law yesterday .
According to Joseph Bullem who was the first to cast a vote at the polling Unit, he said he believes it would be an all round peaceful exercise as everything is working perfectly.
He said: “I feel optimistic, it started peaceful and I believe it will go smoothly, the security personnel are here and in control, INEC is on ground, everyone is behaving responsibly.
“We believe more people will come out to exercise their right by voting their preferred candidate today.
Also speaking Senior Special Adviser, Political Affairs, Chief Peter Ojie who spoke with Vanguard shortly after casting his vote said he was happy that the exercise was peaceful and hitch free as no complain whatsoever has been reported.
Ojie also expressed happiness over the massive turn out of voters to participate in the exercise he said he knows there was still about 5 hours before the close of the exercise and believes more people will come to exercise their franchise.
Also speaking, Ambassador Samuel, an official of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria on Leadership and Good Governance said the turnout is wonderful and expressed confidence in a successful outcome.
Similarly at Customary Court Polling Unit at Nkum Ifede Community in Ishi Aya, voting commenced on schedule.
Presiding officer Gabriel Otokpa said the area has 934 registered voters with two voting points.
However at Primary School Igodo in Nkum Ibor, with number PU003 there was an attempt to disrupt voting by a senior official from Ogoja local government area in connivance with some security officers.
This was however resisted by voters from the community who out-braved the official.
The situation was however brought under control and the presiding officer Ukpi Dorcas Yohana said the process has commenced.