There was a fierce exchange of gunfire between the security operatives and gunmen at Orsumoghu – Mbosi boundary area in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State on Tuesday.
The gun battle, Daily Sun gathered, lasted for about three hours in that area, leading to the blockage of all the entry points into the LGA from that axis.
A team of reporters who went to monitor the ongoing governorship election in the LGA were heading back to Awka, the state capital, when they ran into a team of security operatives numbering over 50 who blocked the road.
The security men told the journalists that gunmen engaged them in a fierce gun battle for more than three hours. They said that the gunmen operated from the boundary area between Imo and Anambra States
They told the reporters to go back and make use of the Onitsha – Owerri Expressway for their safety as they had blocked all the roads in that area.
While returning, the newsmen saw more teams of security operatives in about seven vehicles, believed to be reinforcement, heading to the troubled area.
Earlier, there was an influx of young men into Umudike Village Square, Ward 19, Polling Unit 014 in Ihiala community. The young people came with many shuttle buses.
In less than five minutes, security operatives in about eight vehicles stormed the area. It was not clear if they were alerted by the electoral officers in the polling unit. The reporters did not know what happened thereafter as they were already leaving the scene when the security men arrived.
Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Echeng Echeng, when contacted, told the reporters to call him back later.
Meanwhile, there was a large turnout of voters in all the polling units which Daily Sun monitored.
In some of the polling units, materials did not arrive in time and because of that voting commenced behind schedule.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had said that the election would commence by 10am and end at 4pm. But voting started around 12 noon in some polling units.
In all, the electoral activities in the LGA was largely peaceful as the electorate conducted themselves in orderly manner.
Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Obinna Uzoh, shortly after casting his vote at Umunnamehi Community School, Polling Unit 024, Ward 1 in Ihiala community expressed reservations about the entire arrangement by INEC.
He urged the electoral umpire to take note of the challenges witnessed in this election and make sure it improves on them in their next outing.