By Diana Omueza
#TrackNigeria: Cleen Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says missing names on voters list, poor security deployment, others, hindered early commencement of voting.
Mr Benson Olugbuo, Executive Director of the foundation, said this on Saturday in its preliminary statement from its observations of the Feb. 23 general elections.
Olugbuo said that its observers reported that failure of smart card readers in some polling units led to slow-down of the election voting process.
“From our general observation so far, card readers malfunctioning in some polling units led to slow-down of the election, however, the card readers were replaced with back-ups.
“Cases of missing names on the voter-register were recorded in certain areas such Bwari Area Council in Abuja and also late arrival of the Independent National Electrical Commission (INEC) officials further delayed the process,” he said.
The executive director said that reports from across the country indicated that there was early and high voter turnout, but that security personnel and electoral officers hindered early commencement of voting.
According to him, at Polling Unit 018, Opes Space Cinema, Ward A of Kogi State, officials arrived late, and at Polling unit 111, Zabi Gari in Kaduna State, voting had not commenced as at 11:38 a.m.
He said that reports from the field showed that while voting started early in some polling units, in Polling unit 009 Ningi, Manu Primary School, voting started at 8:36 a.m.
Olugbo also said that from the preliminary assessment received from its stationary and roving observers, security officials were not available at most of the polling units.
“At Ward 4, unit 13 of Orukanam Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom, no security official was sighted as at the time scheduled for the commencement of the elections.
“At PU017, Danbatta East Ward, Danbatta Local Goveernement Area of Kano State, there was no security officials as at 8:a.m.”, he said.
He said that reports of security challenges showed that in Lagos, alleged All Progressive Congress (APC) thugs and OPC members disrupted the elections, insisting that everyone must vote APC.
“In Borno and Kebbi states, there were reported cases of bomb blast, while Zabarmari was attacked by the Boko Haram sect.
“In Rivers state, at Eleme, a military man allegedly shot at a voter,” he said.
According to Olugbuo, there are incidents of vote-buying observed and reported in Akwa-Ibom and Kogi.
The executive director commended both international and domestic observers for their active participation.
He also commended Nigerians on their impressive massive voter turn out
“I commend Nigerians on the impressive voter turnout. The observations from across the country indicated that there was massive early voter turnout,” he said.
He, however, noted that there were cases of voter intimidation and vote buying in certain areas.
Olugbuo said that a full report would be issued at the end of the entire election. (NAN)