Tension mounted on Saturday as voters at polling unit 002, Isuofia ward, were unable to vote hours after accreditation was expected to start in the 2021 Anambra governorship election.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the election, Charles Soludo, is expected to vote at the polling unit.
The failure to vote was attributed to the Bimodal Verification Device, which failed to work despite being replaced with additional support.
The device is used to accredit voters to enable them cast their ballot.
According to a Channels Television reporter at the scene, only 27 persons had voted out of 717 registered voters in the polling unit.
Soludo is also yet to cast his vote as he maintains that it makes no sense to vote when his crowd of supporters is yet to vote.
‘Let’s be patient’
Soludo had earlier decried the failure of INEC’s technology in the voting process.
He alleged that the situation in his polling unit was similar in many parts of the state.
However, he called for his supporters to exercise patience, describing himself as a “process person”.
“Voting is yet to start in most of the polling units in the state. And for the few places where they are doing, I understand that accreditation that is supposed to be done in seconds, takes up to 30 minutes,” Soludo said. “With the crowd here, you don’t need a mathematician to know that people standing here, will not be exhausted.
“So this raises fundamental questions about the technology. I’m quite a bit shocked. And this is all over the state. I’ve been getting calls from virtually every local government without exception, about the glitches, and the fact that people are not voting. Places where you have about 800, 900 people there you probably have about five, six that have voted so far.
“The fundamental problem is the failure of the technology that is being tried in Anambra; it just hasn’t worked up to till this minute.”
Soludo also lamented the paucity of INEC staff in many polling units.
“There is hardly any ward that there are INEC officials in all the polling units,” he said.
“There is one at Uke that is supposed to be 17 polling units, but you have INEC officials in only five.
“Also, the security. As you can see, there is no police official here. And that is also widespread across the state. In Ihiala local government, the latest report I have is that the materials haven’t even left the local government, let alone get to the polling unit.
“I’m a diehard optimist. I’m still hoping to see if we can have water out of the stone, so to speak. I believe I’m a process person. I’m very confident about the process. The INEC Chairman assured us of the robustness of this new technology, that they tried it somewhere for a rerun of the state assembly; but that’s a small location, depending on how the network is in place. Now, the fundamental thing they are complaining about is the network. It’s 1 pm, it hasn’t worked.
“My message to all our supporters, millions of them across the state, that have enthusiastically looked forward to this day, I say to you: let’s be patient. They told us it’s going to work. And I am patient.”