​Late arrival of material, card reader dysfunction mar elections in ​ ​ Akwa Ibom, Delta

The Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom on Saturday experienced series of complaints ranging from insufficient ballot papers to failure of Card Readers to recognise finger prints.

However,​there ​​were ​​large turnout of voters in most of the polling units for accreditation.

Electoral officials, materials and security agents were all available and accreditation of voters started in
​some​ polling centres as early as 8.45 a.m.

In Etinan Local Government area, at Urban Ward 1, Unit 006, the INEC officials complained of inadequate ballot papers, claiming they got 650 papers as against 750 needed.

Another complaint of non-provision of result sheets was made at Northen Iman Ward 2 in the local government area.

At 9 a.m., the NYSC members conducting elections at QIC Primary School in Awa Ward 1, Onna Local Government Area, had yet to begin accreditation, complaining of non-payment of their allowance.

In Uyo Local Government Area, Ward 2, Unit 9 on Ikot Ekpene road, the polling officials complained of slow speed of card readers and non-recognition of finger prints.

Card readers in Ekong street, Ward 2, Unit 25, were, however, not configured for the day’s activities. All accredited voters in March 28 elections were rejected by the machine.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Austin Okojie, said all INEC officials had been instructed on measures to take to curb any challenge encountered in the elections.

“They are to use incident forms and resort to manual accreditation, where the card readers fail,” Mr. Okojie said.

In Delta, accreditation of voters began at 8 a.m. in Asaba, with voters turning up at various polling stations for the exercise.

At Uzoigwe Primary School, Ward 9, Oshimili South Local Government Area, accreditation started on schedule in the 14 polling units.

The Presiding Officer in Ward 9, Unit 1, Uzamere Odion, said that the exercise started as planned and was going on smoothly.

The card reader in unit 11 of the ward malfunctioned and the voters agitated over the situation.

One of the voters, Ngozi Agada, said that she had been in the polling station since 7 a.m. and would not leave until she got accredited.

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The Presiding Officer, Chijioke Eze, said the device malfunctioned and that he had informed INEC headquarters, Asaba, about it.

At St. John Bosco’s Catholic Church (Ward 8) and Umudaike (Ward 8) both in Asaba, accreditation started at 8.05 a.m. and the card readers were used.

At Abuato Primary School Asaba, (Ward 5) the exercise commenced on schedule in the five units at the polling station.

It was the same situation in Ward 6, units 3 and 4 at Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area.

However, electoral officials turned up late with voting materials in Yuwuren College (Ward 5) in Warri South Local Government Area.

The Electoral Officer in the local government area, Fidelia Omoile, said the materials were distributed on Friday.


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