….. Voters Face Difficulty To Identify New Polling Units
By Linda Ike
Voters in Kubwa, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory FCT have experienced difficulty in locating their polling units to exercise their franchise in the 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The elections in some polling units, 016, 017, 018, 019 wards at Byahzi roundabouts, Kubwa village started late following the late arrival of materials from the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
Before the arrival of the materials, voters were seen writing their names in a sheet of paper for easy coordination while in some polling units voters were checking their name on the notice boards.
There was confusion at the early hours of the exercise in some polling units, most especially 003 and other polling units located at PW primary school Kubwa as some voters’ names were missing on the notice boards and in the INEC voter’s register.
Some polling units also recorded cases of voters who were transfered from their old polling units to another but were unable to identify the locations of the new polling units.
Speaking to currentnews.com.ng reporter during the election, a voter who identified himself as Mr. Moses Johnson lamented that he could not see his name in the INEC voter’s register and on the notice board.
He said, “I have been here since morning to cast my vote, but cannot see my name anywhere in the list. This has been my polling unit for years, how come my name is missing today?”
Another voter, Mrs Agness Nwankwo also complained that her name was not in the INEC voter”s register, staying that she was still waiting for INEC to address them on the issue.
Many other voters who could not find their names at the polling units gathered at a spot patiently, trying to register their protest to INEC officials.
On his part, the All Progressives Congress APC Agent, Mr. Abubakar Ali expressed satisfaction over the orderliness of the exercise
But he noted that the INEC officials were not well trained for the job.
He said, “so far that we started on a slow phase, it appears to.me that INEC guys are not grounded in the exercise because the one we conducted last year on Area council, those guys were superb.
“This time, one had to ask me where can he tick this and that, I say to him, though I know the job but I wouldn’t teach you, as I am here , I don’t want to implicate myself, the time they were teaching it you ought to have asked, this is not the time to learn it, so go and ask the other officials how you can do it.”
Ali also disclosed that they officials also misplaced the link given to them by the ONEC and had to use ink from their pen to work.
“It was when we want to start that they noticed there was no ink, I now advised them that since you have your pen let’s throw it on top and use so that we can’t delay the exercise.and they followed my advice.”
He continue, “but I have to commend INEC because the Bimodal Voters Accreditation Systems BVAS are very subperb, they are doing a credible job.*
When asked about the confusion that some voters faced following the transfer to new polling units, Ali said, “the 003 polling unit before was 3, 317 but INEC decided to split them into franction of 750, that is why you see many polling units within, they transfered voters from 003 to other units but the problem that it created is that a lot are in a serious confusion because they don’t know where they actually fall, but they keep coming to us for clearification because they believe we are use to the process, even though I know they are not for me but I keep directing them because we want a smooth process.” The Agent stated.
A first time voter Abraham Nwachukwu who voted at GSS kubwa polling unit said that the election is better than he expected
According to him, “everything was orderly, we came early, wrote our names, my number was 59 and when the voting exercise commenced we voted without any challenge.”
He said a lot of young people are keen to this election hence they are tired of the whole process and need a change.
Young people who have exercised their franchise were seen in one corner at the L.E.A. Kubwa village singing and dancing.