Despite a general peaceful atmosphere across Edo State during Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, voting was disrupted at Ugbague Junction, Unit 43 and 42 in Benin City, the State capital, following the snatching of ballot boxes at the units heralded by sporadic gunshots.

The polling units were deserted following the gunshots as voters and electoral officials scampered to safety.

Election was peaceful in Esan Central Senatorial District. Materials arrived most polling booths as early as 7:45am while accreditation and voting started at about 9:45am.

There was presence of security agents, including Nigeria Police Force, NSCDC, and Federal Road Safety Corps.

As at the time of this report, there had not been any report of complaints concerning the BVAS machine in Edo Central.

Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun, voted at Unit 5, Central Primary, Iruekpen, Esan West Local Government Area.

He described the exercise as peaceful so far, adding that if the peace was sustained round the country till the end of the exercise, Nigeria would have a president that would emerge from a credible process.

Election process was, however, disrupted in parts of Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area, following heavy downpour.

In Uhunmwode Local Government Area, voter accreditation with the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) began at 10:17am at Uwa Primary School, Ikhueniro, Umagbai Ward 5, Units 2 and 5, while voting started at 10:30am.

The presiding officer pleaded that elderly persons and persons with disabilities be allowed to vote first.

Unlike previous elections characterized by vote buying with political party officials trying to woo voters with money, no such incident was witnessed.

There was, however, unrest following the absence of agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for both units 2 &5 even when voting was ongoing. Persons presented as APC agents were not allowed to work because they did for not have tags identifying them as the party’s agents.

Normalcy was restored after security operatives from Okhuaie Police Station intervened with the help of their personnel at the centre.

A voter, Mr Broderick Okehi, described the process as “free, fair and without stress”.

Also, Pastor John Ikharona, who came to vote alongside his wife, praised INEC for giving preference to the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The Nigerian Observer, however, gathered that some voters were unaware of the changes in their centres as new polling units were created from existing ones with voters transferred to them. This further made some of the voters, who had complained of difficulty in accessing their new polling units, to go back home.