Dickson Gets Accredited, Experiences Card Reader Malfunction

dicksonGovernor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has been accredited alongside his wife and mother.

The Governor whose Permanent Voters Card (PVC) was authenticated by the smart card reader expressed his displeasure with the failure of the card reader in authenticating his finger prints and that of most voters in his polling unit.

The Governor who got accredited at Sagbama 06, ward 2, Oruerware compound in Toru- orua community by 10:45am also complained about the slow pace involved in accrediting a voter.

Even though the elections in Sagbama Local Government Areas has been very peaceful, reports from other Local Government Areas in the state are worrisome as there is reported electoral violence in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and Nembe Local Government Area of the State.

Card Reader Fails Jonathan, Wife And Mother

jonathanFormer President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience Jonathan and mother experienced hitches at their polling unit in Otueke, Bayelsa State, as the card reader malfunctioned just as it did during the presidential election.

INEC officials at unit 039 ward 13 in Ogbia LGA located exactly opposite his Otueke residence returned with another card reader at about 10am before he was later accredited.

The former President in his reaction, “From my experience today INEC must resolve the card readers before we go into 2019 election because before we went into the presidential elections the machine rejected my card and my wife”.

He also says that his confident that the election will bring forth a governor that will give the state good leadership, good covenant that will take everybody along.

INEC Insists On Card Reader For Governorship Polls

Card readerThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that it will maintain the use of card readers for the verification of voters during Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.

INEC disclosed this in a statement by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu, on Monday.

The statement read: “The provision of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general election which outlined what is to be done if a card reader fails and cannot be replaced by the commission within the specified time frame (i.e. reschedule the election to the next day) will be enforced.

“The relaxation of the guidelines on March 28 was only with respect to the Presidential and National Assembly election held on that date.

“The Commission has reviewed the operation of the card reader in the 28th March elections, identified the challenges and has taken adequate measure to address them.”

Accreditation of voters during the March 28 election drew mixed reactions as the incumbent President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, and the First Lady could not be accredited with the card reader. At his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State, President Jonathan’s card and that of his wife, Patience could not pass the process.

Channels Television correspondent, Chukwuma Onuekwusi reported that several card readers were tried but his card and that of his wife could not be read by three different card readers.

While President Jonathan urged all Nigerians to be patient with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), politicians in different parts of the country had since urged INEC to review the use of the card reader, citing challenges faced during the presidential and National Assembly elections.

Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, called the overall performance of the card reader device in the state ‘a disaster’, noting that his fingerprints could not be captured despite several attempts.

“Well, it was in my opinion a disaster at the early stages,” Obiano said during an interview on Channels Television’s special election programme, ‘Nigeria 2015’.

He explained that as at 10:30 on Saturday morning, INEC officials were absent at his polling unit,  while the queue was more than a quarter of a mile long.

According to the governor, INEC officials arrived at noon following a call to the REC. Even after their arrival, the card reader failed to work.

“But before then, substantially everywhere, the comment I was getting was that the card reader wasn’t working. As a matter of fact, I received so many calls that I got so worried,” he said.

The governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, had also urged the commission to make another pronouncement on the use of the card reader for the governorship and National Assembly elections.

Jega On Card Reader Flop

However, there had been an indication that the faith of INEC in the card reader technology remained strong despite the challenges faced on election day.

INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, admitted that there were indeed challenges in the deployment of the card readers but the challenges were not significant enough to affect the overall success of the elections.

In an interview with Channels Television about 24 hours after the presidential elections, he said: “From our general assessment, out of the 150,000 card readers which we have deployed, only about 450 were affected.

“But because we just wanted to ensure that Nigerians who have been patient in this process have an opportunity to exercise their rights and because the numbers are relatively insignificant, that’s why we thought it was necessary to do an addendum to the guidelines and allow those people to be able to vote once they can be physically authenticated and verified.”

 

Card Reader Flop: Jega Says Number Insignificant

JegaThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, has expressed gratitude to Nigerians for their peaceful conduct during the presidential elections on Saturday, March 28.

The INEC boss, in an interview with Channels Television on Saturday night, expressed gratitude to the Almighty for how peaceful the process has been and for the large turnout of Nigerians who showed patience in the face of frustrations.

“Of course, man proposes and God disposes. We thought that this would be near perfect but regrettably there have been challenges,” he said.

“There were still cases of late distribution of materials and late arrivals in polling units but in spite of this we think its been very good also.

“We cannot but thank Nigerians for the passion they have shown, and the commitment to be able to vote in this general elections.”

Professor Jega was particularly happy about the exercise in the north-east region of the country where there had been fears of insecurity.

Election Postponement

He also explained that elections which failed to hold on Saturday will only be conducted in 13 federal constituencies and that will be on April 11.

He explained that the polls would have to be moved to that date as a result of shortage of electoral materials.

Prof. Jega said that the decision was agreed to by all relevant stakeholders, who unanimously asked for all 11 federal constituencies in Jigawa State be moved to April 11 even though only seven federal constituencies were affected.

The INEC boss, however, looked on the bright side when he compared the situation with what obtained in 2011.

“Federal constituencies alone we rescheduled over 60 and then we also rescheduled some senatorial because of shortages of materials,” he recalled.

Nevertheless, he expressed regret over the challenges faced. He stated that lessons have been learnt, which would be factored into preparations for the governorship and State Assembly elections holding on April 11.

Card Reader Flop

Professor Jega admitted that there were indeed challenges in the deployment of the card readers but the challenges were not significant enough to affect the overall success of the elections.

“From our general assessment, out of the 150,000 card readers which we have deployed, only about 450 were affected.

“But because we just wanted to ensure that Nigerians who have been patient in this process have an opportunity to exercise their rights and because the numbers are relatively insignificant, that’s why we thought it was necessary to do an addendum to the guidelines and allow those people to be able to vote once they can be physically authenticated and verified.

“Thank God it went well. The only challenge is that it meant the voting has gone on in some places into late evening and early night.”

He expressed confidence in the assurance given by security agencies that all arrangements had been made to secure all the polling units and ensure the successful completion of voting as well as a successful collation of the results.

INEC’s Press Release On New Election Guidelines

Election GuidelinesThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has adjusted the election guidelines to address some of the challenges being faced during the accreditation process across the country.

INEC Orders Manual Accreditation, Extends Voting To Sunday

card readersThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria has adjusted the guidelines for the elections to address some of the challenges being faced during the accreditation process across the country. 

The chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission, Dr. Chris Iyimoga, told reporters that “where card readers fail to work, presiding officers can accredit voters by marking the voter register”.
He also said arrangements will be made for voting to take place on Sunday in polling units where accreditation was suspended.

In some polling units across the country, card readers failed to read the finger prints of voters, causing delay in the process that is supposed to last for at most five hours.

In Otuoke, the home town of Nigeria’s President and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan, the card reader failed to authenticate the finger print of the President and his wife.

President Jonathan was made to fill the ‘Incidence Form’ before he was accredited manually by the ad-hoc staff of the electoral commission.

After waiting trying for over one hour, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient with the INEC, saying everything that is being used for the first time will always have challenges.

Read INEC’s Press Release HERE

Buhari Votes In Katsina

Muhammadu Buhari votingThe Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari has cast his vote at his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

General Buhari was earlier accredited at the same polling unit early in the morning when accreditation started.

He is the strong opposition to the incumbent President and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Goodluck Jonathan.

After voting, the APC Presidential candidate did not speak with reporters.

Earlier, President Jonathan voted at his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State.

President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, were among the first voters to cast their votes in the state after voting started at about past 3:00pm.

He told reporters that he was hopeful.

Addressing reporters after casting his vote, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient with the electoral body despite the issues with the card reader reported at some polling units.

After voting, President Jonathan said: “Let me again use this unique opportunity to congratulate our dear country Nigeria and everyone in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the patience of everyone.

“INEC wants to use the card reader to make sure that electoral process is credible and acceptable by international electoral observers. I believe that at the end of the day we all will be happy,” he said.

Sambo Commends Voting Process

Namadi Sambo VotingThe Vice President, Namadi Sambo has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for reversing to the use of manual accreditation of voters following the challenges associated with the use of the card reader.

The Vice President made the remark after he and his wife, Amina, voted at their Police College polling unit in Kaduna.

He, however, urged the commission to make changes whenever required to ensure that no eligible voter would be disenfranchised.

The Vice President alongside his wife was accredited at about 11:20am local time, after which he described the process as successful and expressed optimism that the election would be free and fair.

After monitoring field reports in the accreditation process, the INEC said it had to adjust the guidelines to ensure that persons at polling units where card readers had failed would be accredited and allowed to vote.

“Whereas the process has gone well in several places, in some others it has encountered some challenges, especially with the use of card readers.

“Consequently, accreditation has been slow in many places and has not commenced at all in some others.

“Even though the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections provide that where card readers fail to work and cannot be replaced, elections in such polling units will be postponed to the following day, the scale of the challenge we have observed today, necessitated a reconsideration of this provision of the guideline,” the INEC said.

Jonathan Votes, Says He Is ‘Hopeful’

Goodluck Jonathan Votes President Goodluck Jonathan has cast his vote in his home town, Otuoke in Bayelsa State.

President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, were among the first voters to cast their votes in the state after voting started at about past 3pm.

Addressing reporters after casting his vote, President Jonathan urged Nigerians to be patient with the electoral body despite the issues with the card reader reported at some polling units.

After voting, President Jonathan said: “Let me again use this unique opportunity to congratulate our dear country Nigeria and everyone in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the patience of everyone.

“INEC wants to use the card reader to make sure that electoral process is credible and acceptable by international electoral observers. I believe that at the end of the day we all will be happy.

“INEC has the responsibility to talk about their functions. There are complaints that the card readers are not working in some poling units. INEC has given a go ahead that where card readers are not working, they should be done manually,” President Jonathan said.

While pleading with Nigerians to be patient with the INEC over the hitches, the President explained: ” I am not putting blame on INEC, Judiciary of anybody. It is one government. The issue of elections is INEC’s exclusive responsibility. Jega is the one that will speak for the government”.

President Jonathan said he did not think the issue of card reader was limited to Bayelsa State but added that he was very hopeful the issues would be resolved.

“We have similar situation in Anambra, Delta State where the governors have called. INEC has directed that where the card readers are not working, they should take the manual option. APC states not having the challenge maybe a coincidence. I do not think it is limited to Bayelsa, ” he said.

The President also expressed optimism that the process would be peaceful as he was not aware of any violence anywhere.

He added: “I heard that there was an explosion but I asked the Governor and he said there was no blast in Enugu.

“What happened in Gombe State is that, you know that the war against terrorism is still ongoing, and the military was accosted by militants. It has nothing to do with the election”.

 

 

 

At Least 11 Killed In Gombe, Yobe Attacks

Gunmen-2At least 11 people have been reported killed by unidentified gunmen in Gombe State and Yobe States, North-East Nigeria.

The incident is reported to have stalled voting in Dukku as well as Shole.

Suspected terrorists in cars and motorcycles were reported to have started shooting sporadically in the areas.

In Dukku the attackers were said to have burnt a police station and a bank, causing voters to desert the areas.

Three people were also reported to have been killed in Yobe State, also in Nigeria’s northeast, while voting was going on.

Earlier in Enugu, tragedy was averted after a Honda car driven by yet to be identified persons and conveying items suspected to be Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), exploded shattering the said vehicle on the road behind the WTC polling station at the Ogui area of Enugu.

It was gathered that due to the heavy presence of security operatives at the venue, the drivers of the vehicle could not gain access to the polling area but had to park the vehicle and left before the blast occurred.

Full Text: INEC Amends Election Guidelines

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  has been monitoring field reports on the accreditation process since the commencement of the poll this morning.

Whereas the process has gone well in several places, in some others it has encountered some challenges, especially with the use of card readers.

Consequently, accreditation has been slow in many places and has not commenced at all in some others.

Even though the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections provide that where card readers fail to work and cannot be replaced, elections in such polling units will be postponed to the following day, the scale of the challenge we have observed today, necessitated a reconsideration of this provision of the guideline.

The commission has therefore, decided, as part of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2015 general elections, that in polling units where card readers have failed to work, the presiding officer shall manually accredit voters by marking the register of voters, upon being satisfied that the person presenting a permanent Voter Card (PVC) is a legitimate holder of the card.

The above not withstanding, in polling units where accreditation was suspended to the following day in accordance with the existing guidelines, arrangements will be made for voters to vote tomorrow, subject to the provision of the electoral act 2010 (as amended).

The commission reassures the voting public that it will thoroughly investigate what happened, while it remains committed to the delivery of free, fair and credible elections in spite of the challenges.

 

Obasanjo Confident Of Nigeria’s Unity And Future

Olusegun ObasanjoA former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed confidence in the unity and future of Nigeria despite the many challenges slowing down its development.

After casting his vote in Ward 11 in his home town, Abeokuta in Ogun State, the former President said that the outcome of the elections could shape the nation’s democracy and democratic process.

The exercise in Abeokuta, the state capital, was peaceful despite the initial challenges experienced.

Accreditation of eligible voters commenced behind schedule in some polling units, as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and materials came in late.

However, when the accreditation got underway, the exercise was hitch free, and orderly.

At other poling units, especially Ward 11 Totoro, Polling Unit 21, no INEC official was seen around, a situation the resident electoral commissioner said had been addressed

Leading the State Commissioner of Police and other security chiefs during the exercise, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the south-west, Ashimu Argungu, commended the peaceful conduct of the election in the state.