According to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, no fewer than eight BVAS machines have been carted away from polling units in Delta and Cross River states during today’s general election.
Yakubu revealed that voting commenced late in some parts of the country, while some polling units were attacked by gunmen who took away the machines.
The commission’s chairman revealed these while briefing journalists in Abuja a few minutes ago.
He said: “As Nigerians are aware, I should say, this is the first time since 2011 that a general election has not been postponed. It’s part of the Commission’s determination to ensure that we continue to do what is right and we’re going to continue to do so for the day intermittently until they formally open the collation centre.
“So far, so good, generally speaking, voting is going on nationwide. The bimodal voter accreditation system deployed nationwide for the first time has been functioning optimally in most parts of the country. And we actually have less and less complaints about the functionality of the bimodal accreditation system.
“Based on the reports that we have received from the various states of the federation, and our office in the Federal Capital Territory, some challenges were identified. One of which is the inability of the commission in a number of places to go to the polling units before the scheduled time which is 8:30 am. Some of the polling units will be delayed in line with our policy.
“Any Nigerians who get to the polling units before 2:30 will have the opportunity to vote no matter how long it takes, until the last of us on the queue, no matter how long It takes.
“Some of the reasons why we couldn’t open the polling units on time; one is the perennial problem of logistics. I think in 2023, we conquered the challenge of election materials in various locations. Yes, they’re very complementary on them. But generally speaking, will deliver the hundreds of millions of ballot papers and excel sheets that were supposed to deliver for the election.
“But another contributing factor to the opening is actually the insecurity in the country.
“For instance, eight BVAS machines were carted away in Delta and Cross Rivers’ polling units attacked by gunmen and made away with the machines.
“In Oshimili local government area of Delta State, some gunmen attacked a polling unit and 2 BVAS machines were carted away in the process. But we are determined that the process must continue.
“We replaced the lost machine and reinforced security and voting continued in the location.
“Similarly gunmen also attacked one of the polling units in Cross River State and made away 6 BVAS machines.”
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