Card Reader has failed in Cross River State
The use of Card Reader has failed in Cross River State.
As at 10am most of the units in Cross River South, Central and North Senatorial unit the Card Reader could not function as it could not verify the Personal Voters Card (PVC). Materials arrived in most units about 9 am but the card readers could not function.
At Unit one, Ward 10 in 8 miles of Calabar Municipality, the Presiding Officer, Miss Comfort Bassey Harmony at 9.45 am said, “we have not started accreditation yet. The card reader is not verifying the PVC and we are waiting for an order for what to do next. We have two card readers here but it is not verifying the PVC”.
At unit 004, Itu street in Bogobiri in Municipal, the Assistat Presiding Officer, Mr Daniel Nwadike at about 10.03 am said, “we are having challenge with the card reader. The date setting is wrong and we cannot change the date to read todays date (Saturday) because the password of the card reader has been changed. As at now we are using the manual voters register as instructed by INEC”.
In unit 09, Ward 10 in Government Secondary School, at about 10.15 am the Presiding Officer, Mr. Bernard Essien said, “the card reader is giving us challenge. It is not verifying the PVC. We have called the Electoral Officer and he asked us not to use the manual register because the technical team is going round to rectify the problem”.
In Ekorinim one, ward 5 same problem of card reader recorded. Ikot Abasi Obori drive polling unit the card reader was not working and people were still waiting at about 11.11 am in Calabar Municipality. It however started functioning at about 11.16 am.
Senator Baasy Otu could not be accredited in his ward as at 10.58 am when he turned out with others to vote at Adiabo/Efut ward in Odukpani Local Government Council but card reader failed and were given incident form to fill.
In Ikom, Akparaobong and many other areas same problem of card reader failure were recorded and as at 11.09 am accreditation had not started. However at about 11.20am the card readers were now working after the INEC officials had to take the card reader back to Ikom for setting.
The President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Lawrence Ekwok condemned the entire process by INEC saying as at 11.23 am accreditation had not started.
He said “all over my area in Bassey Okwa, Iso Okwa, Immigration and other areas in the Airport side in Edim Otop the card readers are not working except in one or two. This is a deliberate plot by Jega to rig the election for Buhari and it will not work”.
As at 11.27, in ward 11, zone 4 in Mbukpa, Calabar South the card readers were not working and the Presiding Officer there said “we needed N1, 500 needed to load the card reader but we don’t have such money”.
In most areas voters were seen helpless while some of them had to go home in frustration.
The agent for Labour Party (LP) in Government Secondary school Atu, Calabar South said “we are still waiting for their ICT person to come. In fact we are not happy with the situation. As you can see people came out here since morning but up till this time (11am) nothing has happened. I do not suspect any fowl play anywhere”.
An Observer with the Justice Development for Peace Commission (JDPC), Mr. Moris Ukpong said, “the materials arrived quite on time with INEC personnel and security and others came out early.
“But by the time they were to start accreditation card reader failed. I feel total dismay about the outcome of card reader. I think before now INEC should have put things in place”.
This is a general problem in the entire Cross River state as same reports of card reader failure were reported in Northern part of the state.