An election observer group, Yiaga Africa, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to extend the election time to 4:30 p.m.
Voting commenced late at various polling units across the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday.
Malfunctioning BVAS and late arrival of INEC officials were experienced at various council areas during the exercise.
Voting has ended in some polling units and results are already trickling in.
But, in a statement signed jointly by the executive director Yiaga Africa, Samson Itodo, and a board member, Ezenwa Nwagwu, it called for an extension of the voting till 4.30p.m.
“Given the late opening of polls and glitches with the BVAS machines, INEC should extend the voting time to 4:30 pm especially in pollings with a high turnout of voters,” the statement read in part.
Commenting on the “operational deficiencies”, the group noted, “provide a compelling need for a comprehensive audit of the voter register, BVAS technology, elections logistics and distribution of voters to polling units.”
It recommended, among others, training of security personnel to act accordingly during electoral process.
It added that political parties and their members should coordinate properly to avoid disrupting the process
“Security agencies should ensure that their personnel act with utmost professionalism and remain impartial throughout the conduct of this election,” the statement said.
Yiaga Africa said its observers reported disenfranchisement of voters as a result of missing names on the voter register that was deployed to the polling unit.
It called on INEC officials to act “in the utmost sense of integrity, transparency and professionalism in the collation and declaration of election results.”
Voters want INEC to extend voting time in Gwagwalada
Meanwhile, some voters in Dobi Ward of Gwagwalada Area Council, have appealed to the INEC to extend voting time in the FCT Area Councils Poll, to allow them cast their votes.
The voters spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Dobi, Gwagwalada, saying that the use of Biomodal Verification Accreditation System (BVAS) had slowed down the accreditation and voting process.
Sule Agada, a businessman, said that no matter the time spent on the queue, he must cast his vote for his preferred candidate.
“No matter how long it takes, I must cast my vote and make sure that I watch as my vote is being counted.
“The INEC officials cannot leave here if we don’t vote, because the problem is not from us but from them,” he said.
Jubril Balarabe, a farmer, said that the voters appeared more prepared than INEC officials.
“The people came well prepared for the election, but INEC is discouraging us with the slow process of accreditation, because as you can see, the queue is well organised.
“Women are on their side, while men are on their sides too, but yet the voting process has been slow and we must vote.”
Hussana Hussan, a petty trader, said that she was willing to stay on queue until the last person on the queue was attended to.
“I will wait with my sisters and brothers until the process is finished,” she said.
Other voters, however, lauded INEC for the early arrival of materials, but called for solutions to the BVAs hiccups.
NAN reports that as at 11.30a.m., about 350 voters had cast their votes at polling unit 001 and 002 in Dobi.
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