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Voting suspended in some places in Nigeria: electoral commission

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Jega-INEC-BOSSNigeria’s electoral commission on Saturday said polling in the country’s presidential and parliamentary election had been suspended in some places because of glitches with new voter ID card readers.

The Independent National Electoral Commission said there had been “challenges” with the technology in “many” places, without specifying a number, forcing accreditation to be suspended.

“In polling units where accreditation was suspended to the following day in accordance with the existing guidelines, arrangement will be made for voters to vote tomorrow (Sunday),” information commissioner Chris Yimoga told reporters in Abuja.

Voters have reported long delays with the new handheld devices that “read” biometric data such as fingerprints on the cards to authenticate a voter’s identity and cut electoral fraud.

The most high-profile victim was President Goodluck Jonathan, who was forced to abandon his accreditation in his home town of Otuoke when the device repeatedly failed to recognise his details.

He was then accredited by hand and later voted, he said, for himself in the presidential vote and his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in parliamentary polls.

Jonathan said people should “sympathise with INEC”, adding: “INEC introduced the card readers to ensure we get credible elections. We should bear with them…

“INEC has to talk about their functions. I took the manual option. I am aware that INEC has directed its resident electoral commissioners to use manual option when card readers fail.

“As head of state, I don’t blame anybody,” he said but admitted: “I think the problem is national.”

Jonathan’s PDP repeatedly expressed concern about the level of distribution of new voter ID cards and the use of the “untested”readers during the election campaign.

The main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) backed the system.

INEC’s Yimoga said although accreditation had “gone well in several places… (it) has been slow in many places and has not commenced in others”.

Election guidelines already provided for accreditation to be postponed to the following day if card readers did not work and could not be replaced.

But he added that a revision was made because of “the scale of the challenge we have observed”, allowing both a 24-hour delay and the use of manual checking.



7 Comments
  • NigerDeltaWatch

    Thank you LORD God for the victory of your Son – President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the Polls.
    Thank you LORD God Almighty!

    • Bello Barriga

      THANK YOU LORD GOD FOR THE VICTORY OF YOUR SON –
      GEN. MOHAMMADU BUHARI IN THE POLLS. THANK YOU LORD GOD ALMIGHTY FOR REMOVING PDP FROM ASO ROCK. THANK YOU GOD ALMIGHTY FOR CHANGE FOR
      BETTER NIGERIA. Nigeria saecular saeculorun.

  • Iheonunekwu Joseph Nwabueze

    Talking nonsense, INEC and JEGA knew that Card Readers will not work, instead of them to use what will work, they decided to scuttle the election, Nigerians are smart and have produced of 30-million graduates, they are watching. Let Tinubu and APC take note. Card Readers do not know APC or PDP, all will suffer it

    • jacob gambo

      Join the discussion…Most of the claims that card readers aren’t working is a smog. Just by removing the poly-sticker on the face of the card reader,it gets working like lightening. Compromise by INEC field men to buttress position of pessimists.Haba! Nigerians lets go digital not analog anymore. Kudos to JEGA and his positives.

      • Efula

        Jega is a failure and nigerians will stone him on the street.

        He will plug this nation in total darkness.

        • Bello Barriga

          Haba Efula. Where in the civilized world are people stone on the street? Nigerians are not barbarians, given, some are corrupt, but majority are still decent. Have a nice day my fellow Nigerian.

      • Bayo Ola

        Thanks for pointing out this obvious fact out. Foolish commentators here are either daft to know, or simply mischievous not to realize that people that want this process to fail might have been the one that made it impossible for the card readers to work. Kudos to Jega. May God bless him. History will judge him favourably. Kudos to President Jonathan for appointing Jega in the first place. He needs not listen to these ethnics warriors around him including his wife. He should do the “right thing” if he loses the election.