The head of the Commonwealth observer mission to the Nigerian elections, Thabo Mbeki, says his committee observed the late arrival of officials and materials to polling units in many parts of the country.
Mr Mbeki, a former South African President, addressed journalists in Abuja at noon on Saturday.
According to Mr Mbeki, although they had been told that elections would start at 8:30 a.m., they arrived before that time at the first polling unit observed and found that INEC officials only arrived at 8:30 a.m. and elections could only begin about an hour later.
Mr Mbeki added that at a second polling unit observed, INEC officials complained of inks drying as early as elections began. “Imagine what can happen later,” he said
“The point I’m making is that everybody arrived late. And before they could start with the voting, it took some time,” Mr Mbeki said.
He, however, added that his committee believes that the electoral commission, INEC, is able to address the problem.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the late arrival of election officials in many parts of Nigeria.
About an hour after Mr Mbeki addressed journalists, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, at a separate briefing, also admitted that officials arrived late at many polling units. He blamed the problem on travel logistics but said the commission would ensure that all voters in the queue by 2:30 p.m. would vote, “no matter how long it takes.”
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