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Large turnout at pre-election trial in Niger


THERE was a high turnout of registered voters at the pre-election trial of the card reader machines by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Niger on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that residents of Egwa-Gwada area of Shiroro Local Government Area started coming out as early as 8 a.m. to participate in the exercise.

Dr Chris Iyimoga, INEC Commissioner in charge of Niger, Kaduna State, Kwara and the FCT, told newsmen that the whole exercise was encouraging.

“The number of people coming out is good as of this early hour of the exercise. We have all the card readers in place with additional ones as backups.

“The pace of screening has been smooth. In some instances, where there were delays, it was not due to the machines.

“The reading may reject the fingers, because of blurred capturing. But, by and large, this has been identified and rectified,” he said.

Mr Nasir Ayilara, INEC’s Niger State Resident Electoral Commissioner, said the trial had been accepted by the people.

He said the sensitisation conducted by the Commission had paid off with the large turnout witnessed.

“We are happy that what we expected was achieved. Our people had carried out sensitisation in the last few days.

“The various challenges encountered here today (Saturday) will be used to refine the entire process of the card reader and other logistics details of the upcoming elections,” Ayilara said.

NAN reports that 22 polling units were involved in the pre-election trial in the wards.

Some challenges encountered during the process included lack of proper handling of the machine by officers, non-compliance with machine instructions and the resultant waste of time.(NAN)

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