President Goodluck Jonathan at about 1:45pm Saturday said he was still expecting his wife, Dame Patience, at his community in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, to participate in the electoral process.
The President who spoke after casting his vote at his polling unit feigned ignorance of his wife’s whereabouts claiming that the First Lady who was nowhere to be found in her voting unit did not board the same aircraft with him. While Jonathan who jetted out of his community shortly after casting his vote, claimed he was still expecting his wife at Otuoke, there were reports that Patience had spent about two days in Okirika, Rivers State, working to ensure the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the polls.
When asked why his wife was not in Otuoke, President Jonathan said: “Of course, we used different aircraft. She was expected to be here. We have been expecting her and he will still come. “The only thing is whether she will meet up the accreditation period. That is the problem. But she is supposed to be on her way.” On his feeling after conceding defeat, the President said: “I am a Nigerian and I am Goodluck Jonathan and I feel that as a nation, you respect your laws and I am quite pleased in respecting the laws of the land”. The President further expressed satisfaction on the growing democratic ideals of the country. “As a nation, we are quite happy we are consolidating in our democratic efforts. The key thing is that the citizens must directly change government properly. We must do elections every four years”, he said. He reiterated that there was no governorship election in Bayelsa State which he said led to low voter turnout in many polling units.
He said: “Some other states where you have the governorship elections, the stakes will be higher. Elections are going on. You will expect a country as big as Nigeria to have issues in some places. But in overall I think the elections are going on well.” Meanwhile in most polling units in Yenagoa, electoral materials arrived late and accreditation started beyond schedule. Supporters of opposition parties in Gbarain-Ekpetiama in Yenagoa were said to have protested against PDP stakeholders accusing them of bribing INEC officials. But at unit 11, Sagbama Constituency III, accredited started at about 8:20pm, though the card reader failed to recognized many fingerprints.
There were also reports of diversion of electoral materials in some local government areas. For instance, an agent of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) alleged that materials meant for polling units at Amurukeni community Constituency II were diverted into the home of a government official at Omehia Town. But the elections were marred in Ogbia Constituency 3, following a breakdown of law and order in the area. Violence was said to have erupted at unit 11, Ward 6 in Oruma community, Ogbia Constituency 3, after thugs disrupted the accreditation exercise being conducted by officials of INEC.
But an APC agent, Adaga Martins, explained that the exercise was disrupted because the electoral officers could not display ballot papers and results when asked to do so by party agents. Already, tension was said to have mounted in the area as supporters of APC and PDP were said to be spoiling for war. It was gathered that some of the youths believed to be APC supporters were chanting “No (electoral) materials, no election” and “No election here”.
Also at unit 4, Otuasega, in Ward 6, APC candidate for Ogbia 3, Morris Abey, alleged that the Ogbia Local Council Chairman, Enaye Abah, recruited youths of the community as “Ogbia Ward 6 Government Security”. Some of the youths were seen wearing the tag bearing the inscription “Ogbia Ward 6 Government Security”. But the Ogbia Local Council Chairman, Enaye Abah, denied the allegations, saying he did not print security tags for any youth.