Elections: logistics challenge still widespread — CDD
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), says it observed widespread logistics challenge in the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday.
Dr Plangsat Dayit, who is a member of CDD’s Election Analysis Centre (EAC), said this in Abuja at a news briefing on preliminary report of the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“As was expected, there remains questions about INEC’s preparedness for the elections in spite of the additional week they took to tie up loose ends logistically and operationally.
“Reports reaching us are that logistical issues are still widespread. Ballot papers are not sufficient in some polling units, while in others, there is lack of other materials such as the indelible ink, ballots or result sheets,” she said.
She noted that though the Smart Card Readers (SCRs) remained one of the most vital aspects of the elections in Nigeria.
“We have reports that many of the issues bedeviling the SCRs from previous elections have persisted in some of the locations visited by our observers.
“There are quite a lot of reports that the SCRs are failing to authenticate a significant number of voters who have presented themselves for voting.
“It is yet unclear whether their PVCs were authenticated first before their biometrics failed to be recognised.
“What is certain as at this moment is that in a few places, Supervising Officers have directed that manual voting should be allowed,” she said.
According to her, in Birnin Kudu Local Government Area (LGA), Bamaina Ward, Voting Point 009, the card reader did not function until midday.
“Also, in PU 014 of Dakata Ward in Nassarawa LGA of Kano Central, voting did not commence as at noon because the card reader did not work at all,” she said.
Dayit, who noted that the poll also recorded pockets of violence, said there were many areas where vote buying was observed.
“Two persons were killed with three others injured in Amagu Ward one in Ikwo Local Government Area of the Ebonyi.
“The death occurred following a clash between supporters of two political parties in the state.
“In Rivers State, five people have so far been killed, with four killed in Andoni Local Government Area and another one in Asaru Toro Local Government of Rivers State.
“Our observers reported killings also in Dekina, Kogi, Sapele Oba. Two people were allegedly killed.
“As we are filing this report, our observers are reporting ongoing thug invasion in Oru West LGA in Imo State,” she said.
Dayit lamented that in some parts of the country, there were disruption of voting.
“For example, in Ajetachi PU 006, Anyangba Ward, Dekina LGA of Kogi, party agents arrived the PU with INEC election materials and asked observers to leave.
“Our observer reported gun violence. Also, in Bonny LGA, Rivers State, voting was disallowed by a political leader,” she said.
She said the observers also reported that there were bomb blast incidents in Maiduguri and Yobe.
“The intimidating presence of security agents on the streets was also noted by many observers going to their polling units early this morning,” she said.
“In addition, it appears that some voters were able to take their phones into the polling booth as we have received pictures of thumb-printed ballot papers.’’